Vacancies and Application

Microalgae
Vacancies

Deadline for application: as soon as possible

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SE2B Vacancies

Ready to work in a foreign country to qualify for a PhD in an international, interdisciplinary research project? You are an enthusiastic and highly self-motivated team player? 15 PhD positions are offered by the Innovative Training Network “Solar Energy to Biomass – Opimisation of light energy conversion in plants and microalgae” or short “SE2B”. SE2B is a multi-site Initial Training & Research Program of research institutions from the public and private sector in eight European countries. The aim is to

  1. understand the regulation mechanisms important for light use efficiency, and their evolution from algae to land plants, structure/function studies of the key proteins in non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), PsbS and LhcSR, and of the role of xanthophylls in specific LHC antenna proteins in plants and algae will be crucial. This includes the elucidation of the molecular basis for long-term quenching in evergreen trees over winter. Together with the development of an automated phenotyping system these results will be used to exploit the effect of xanthophyll over-accumulation on light harvesting versus photoprotection for biomass production in algae.
  2. elucidate the supercomplex dynamics during regulation phenomena in plants and microalgae to understand (i) how light-harvesting systems together with photosystems are organized in the lipid bilayer environment during NPQ and/or state-transition (ST), (ii) how the polarity of the membrane, determined by the lipid composition and the phosphorylation of the thylakoid proteins, affects the light absorption properties and the structural and functional dynamics of the supercomplexes, and (iii) how these dynamics affect the entire organism at the gene expression level.
  3. to investigate the role of thylakoid membrane flexibility in light use efficiency by characterising the functional and structural reorganization of thylakoid membranes during NPQ and ST in vivo, and by comparing these effects in cyanobacteria, green algae and diatoms, to determine the extent to which NPQ and ST make use of the same underlying physical mechanisms in different organisms.

PhD students participate in an exciting research programme and receive a strongly interdisciplinary training in all scientific areas involved as well as in complementary skills. The program also includes extended stays in partner laboratories (secondments).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 675006.

Individual Research Projects available.

  1. Structural and functional analysis LhcSR and PsbS proteins regulating photosynthetic light use efficiency.
    PhD position, group of Roberto Bassi, Universita degli Studi di Verona, Italy.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  2. Changes in energy fluxes during NPQ in LHCII and PS II-LHCII complexes.
    PhD position, group of Alexander Ruban, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  3. The role of certain proteins in quenching mechanisms in evergreens.
    PhD position, group of Stefan Jansson, Umeå Universitet, Sweden.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  4. Systems for non-invasive monitoring of plant fitness and growth performance.
    PhD position, group of Klára Panzarová, Photon Systems Instruments Spol SRO, Czech Republic.
    more details
  5. Using algal mutants for enhanced carotenoid production.
    PhD position, group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  6. Changes in supercomplex formation related to functional changes (NPQ and ST).
    PhD position, group of Roberta Croce, Stichting Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  7. Dynamics of thylakoid pigment-protein complexes – consequences on functional genomics of the entire organism.
    PhD position, group of Eva-Mari Aro, University of Turku, Finland.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  8. Dynamics of supercomplexes in the thylakoid membrane of diatoms.
    PhD position, group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  9. Mechanisms involving the antenna that regulate the energy flux to reaction centers in cyanobacteria.
    PhD Postdoc position, group of Diana Kirilovsky, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  10. Molecular structure of supercomplexes under different conditions.
    PhD position, group of Egbert Boekema, Groningen Universiity, Netherlands in coorperation with group of Roman Kouřil, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  11. Photosynthetic Membranes: from molecular to membrane organisation.
    PhD position, group of Bruno Robert, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  12. Regulation of the photosynthetic membrane landscape in cyanobacteria.
    PhD position, group of Conrad Mullineaux, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  13. Changes at the membrane level during NPQ and state transitions.
    PhD position, group of Herbert van Amerongen, Wageningen University, Netherlands.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  14. Improvement of secondary metabolites production in cyanobacteria under external stress.
    PhD position, group of Céline Bourcier de Carbon, Phycosource SARL, France.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details
  15. Quantifying photosynthesis in intact photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria.
    PhD position, group of Jan Dekker/Ivo van Stokkum, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    Closed – no longer vacant
    more details

 

Successful applicants will be employed: 36 months. With the salary (full time EU contract) also a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if applicable) will be granted and educational costs are covered. The salary is between 2.600 € to 3.470.- €, depending on the host country plus 600.- € on mobility allowance and 250.- € on family allowance. These amounts are gross. The net salary results from deducting all compulsory (employer/employee) social security contributions, as well as direct taxes (e.g. income tax), and insurances from the gross amounts according to the regulations of the host country.

Researchers applying for a PhD position are eligible if they are still within the first four years of their career in research at the time of appointment (full time equivalent). This is measured from the date when they obtained the undergraduate degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate until the day of employment. At the time of the employment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country where they will be employed or are applying for for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date of employment. Researchers can be nationals of any country. A good command of the English language is essential.

For more detail and regulations refer to:

Annex I – the detailed description of the project incl. management (available soon)

ANNEX-II – regulations of ITN projects (available soon)

ANNEX-III – definitions (available soon)

How to apply

Applications shall be addressed directly to the according project leader and sent via email (PDF-files) to the address displayed with each project description below. Deadline for applications is „as soon as possible“. Individual deadlines may be given with the detailed project description. For applying please send us

The filled in application form (download)

your CV,

a copy of your PhD certificate (if available), a copy of Master or Diploma, Bachelor, and School certificates including accredited transcript of records (Master, Bachelor – including information on the Grade Point Average of the highest university degree obtained)

a covering letter (1 page) outlining why you are suitable for the position

at least 1 reference letter

a list of publications (if available)

and further documents required to demonstrate your experience (if applicable).

You may refer to the application check-list provided.

Research projects

PhD Research Project 1

Structural and functional analysis LhcSR and PsbS proteins regulating photosynthetic light use efficiency.

Project description

The project focuses on the structure/function of LHCSR and PSBS proteins and their interactions with photosynthetic supercomplexes. The work will include the mutation analysis of recombinant LHCSR and PSBS proteins regulating photosynthetic light use efficiency in unicellular algae and plants upon expression into homologous and heterologous systems. Identification of interactors of these two protein within photosystem I and II supercomplexes. Structural analysis of recombinant LHCSR expressed in Tobacco. –The program can be modulated according to the characteristics of the candidate.

Where
The group of Roberto Bassi, Department for Biotechnology, Plant Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Verona, 15, Strada Le Grazie, 37134 Verona, Italy, roberto.bassi@univr.it, +39 0458027916.

Project specific requirements
Competence in molecular biology and/or biochemistry and/or biophysics.

See advert for details

PhD Research Project 2

Changes in energy fluxes during NPQ in LHCII and PS II-LHCII complexes.

Project description
The goal of this project will be to establish whether the same mechanism of energy dissipation takes place in isolated LHCII and the photosynthetic membrane, and to find out the rate of energy trapping within the quenching carotenoid species.

Expected Results: Time-resolved low temperature fluorescence on thylakoids lacking photosystems will be performed to gain information on energy transfer rates in the presence of non-photochemical quenching in the photosynthetic membrane. Isolated LHCII complexes from various xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants in the light harvesting and energy dissipation state, as well as intact chloroplasts with enhanced stability and sustained non-photochemical quenching will be measured by transient absorption (TA) methods. Modelling of the TA results will yield spectra of the NPQ quencher(s). A coarse-grained model of the eneegy transfer in the photosynthetic membrane comprising the economic nature of the NPQ quencher will be produced.

Where
The group of Alexander Ruban, Queen Mary University of London, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, 327 Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, United Kingdom, a.ruban@qmul.ac.uk, phone: +44 (0)20 78826314.

Project specific requirements
not defined

PhD Research Project 3

The role of certain proteins in quenching mechanisms in evergreens.

Project description
The most conspicuous, intriguing and important trait of spruce is its ability to maintain green needles over the winter, in other words to be an evergreen under extremely challenging conditions. The hypothesis that PsbS or a similar protein transforms the structure into a ‘super-quenching winter state’ that is stable regardless of lumenal pH will be tested.

Expected Results: A combination of mining of the spruce genomic resources, measurements of photosynthetic function in spruce needle leaves over the season, and the use of transgenic spruce, will be used. All genes of the ‘LHC supergene family’ will be identified, their expression studied, and transgenics affected in regulation of light harvesting made.

Where
The group of Stefan Jansson, Umeå Universitet, Department of Plant Physiology, Universitetomradet, 901 87 Umea, Sweden, stefan.jansson@umu.se, phone: +46 70 6772331.

Project specific requirements
Competence in biophysics, biochemistry and spectroscopy of the photosynthetic membrane.

PhD Research Project 4

Systems for non-invasive monitoring of plant fitness and growth performance.

Project description

Further development of non-invasive techniques for monitoring plant fitness and growth performance by using the automated PlantScreen Phenotyping platform. The project aims to investigate and validate current technological improvements and develop, optimize and standardize the phenotyping protocols for the given imaging sensors. The insights obtained will be translated into actual applications in basic research and in agriculture research as in targeted breeding programs.

Expected Results: Hyperspectral image analysis – optimization, validation and further development of the imaging pipeline for high-throughout plant phenotyping. Correlation of the results with biochemical analysis and other non-invasive reflectance measurements. Validation of the methodology under abiotic stress conditions. Optimisation and further development of the methodology for 3D reconstruction of kinetic chlorophyll fluorescence measurements.

Where
The group of Klára Panzarová, Photon Systems Instruments Spol SRO, Research & Development, Drasov 470, 66424 Drasov, Czech Republic, Email: panzarova@psi.cz, +420511440037.

Project specific requirements
We are looking for an excellent student who is a result-driven team player with good communication skills and good proficiency in English (both oral and written). Specific requirements:

  • A university degree at MSc level in plant sciences or biotechnology
  • Strong scientific interest in phenotyping and automated image-analysis
  • Profound knowledge of plant physiology is of advantage
  • Experience with photosynthesis research is of advantage (gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence)
  • Knowledge of basic statistical methods and large data-set analysis is recommended
  • Experience with programming in R or MatLab is of advantage
  • Capability to operate in dynamic environment between universities and private companies

See advert for details

PhD Research Project 5 – closed

Using algal mutants for enhanced carotenoid production.

Project descriptio

The work will focus on the pathway towards carotenoids, to improve production by direct manipulation within the pigment synthesis pathway. In addition, optimization of the photosynthetic carbon flux, to provide more biomass and thus more pigment, will be examined in collaboration with other partners of SE2B.

Expected Results: Improving the content will be achieved by inhibiting competing pathways using a protein based approach to manipulate the pathway. After successful establishment of an in vivo functionality in plants, constructs will be made to transform Phaeodactylum and/or Chlamydomonas, and those will be assessed for carotenoid yield parameters in comparison to WT strains.

Where
The group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Molekulare Biowissenschaften, Max-von-Laue-Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, c.buechel@bio.uni-frankfurt.de, +49 69 798 29602.

Project specific requirements
The candidate should hold a master (or comparable) degree in biology or biochemistry. The position requires an interest in algal physiology and pigments. Experience with molecular biology standard procedures like cloning and overexpression of proteins is mandatory, experience with HPLC methods is recommended.

PhD Research Project 6 – closed

Changes in supercomplex formation related to functional changes (NPQ and ST).

Project description
The objective is to elucidate changes in supercomplex composition and organization in plants and green algae grown/acclimated/stressed under different conditions, with the aim to understand the molecular basis of inter-dependent regulation mechanisms (NPQ and ST).

Expected Results: Plants and algae from different habitats will be selected based on physiological measurements, and assessments of the acclimation responses at the level of whole organisms will be conducted spectroscopically at different time-scales from fs to s. The composition of the photosynthetic apparatus of these novel species will be determined under normal condition and during regulation.

Where
The group of Roberta Croce, Stichting Free University Amsterdam, Department for Physics and Anatomy, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, r.croce@vu.nl, +31 2059 86310.

Project specific requirements
not defined

PhD Research Project 7

Dynamics of thylakoid pigment-protein complexes – consequences on functional genomics of the entire organism.

Project description
The regulatory dynamics that optimise the function of thylakoid membranes will be elucidated by dissecting how thylakoid protein phosphorylation and the thylakoid lipidome tune the distribution of protein complexes along the thylakoid membrane, how they determine the formation of PS II- and PS I-complexes and PS II/PS I-enriched areas of the membrane, and how such rearrangements in energy transfer are reflected in global gene and protein expression.

Expected Results: Successful supercomplex isolation from selected plant species will allow detailed analyses of the heterogeneity in supercomplexes. The structure of those supercomplexes will be solved by single-particle analysis and the excitation energy transfer elucidated. Direct consequences of supercomplex reorganisations on general plant acclimation by changes in gene expression levels will be obtained for further biotechnological purposes.

Where
The group of Eva-Mari Aro, University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4 C, Turku, Finland, evaaro@utu.fi, +35823335931.

Project specific requirements
Fulfillment of the project requires excellent theoretical and practical knowledge on molecular biology and biochemistry. Biophysical skills and readiness to multidisciplinary photosynthesis research are highly appreciated. Practical experience with membrane protein complexes and lipids, or alternatively on systems biology methods and genome mining are regarded as an asset.

PhD Research Project 8

Dynamics of supercomplexes in the thylakoid membrane of diatoms.

Project description
The precise nature of the thylakoid structure of diatoms is still unknown. Thus, the exact distribution of photosystems and antenna proteins in these membranes will be determined and changes of thylakoid membranes and supercomplexes during regulation phenomena like NPQ will be analysed.
Expected Results: The influence of lipids on antenna and photosystem complexes will be determined and the complexes characterised spectroscopically. The distribution of supercomplexes in the thylakoids will be shown by immunolabelling and electron microscopy, and related to function.

Where
The group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Molekulare Biowissenschaften, Max-von-Laue-Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, c.buechel@bio.uni-frankfurt.de, +49 69 798 29602.

Project specific requirements
The candidate should hold a master (or comparable) degree in biology or biochemistry. The position requires an interest in algal physiology. Experience with protein purification and protein biochemical standard procedures is mandatory, experience with spectroscopic methods (steady state absorption and fluorescence) is recommended.

PhD Research Project 9

Mechanisms involving the antenna that regulate the energy flux to reaction centers in cyanobacteria.

Project description
“State Transitions” is induced by changes in light quality and involves a rearrangement of the antenna, the phycobilisome and the photosystems. State transitions are triggered by changes in the redox state of the plastoquinone pool; however, the cascade of events induced by these changes resulting in phycobilisome or photosystem movements is still unknown in cyanobacteria. In the framework of this project, we will revisit the most controversial points of the mechanism and we will look for the lacking element involved in signal translation. The interaction between state transitions and other photoprotective mechanisms (cyclic electron transport, OCP-related NPQ) will be also studied.

Expected results: Elucidation of the cyanobacterial state transition mechanism et its interaction with other photoprotective mechanisms.

Where
The group of Diana Kirilovsky, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l‘énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives), Institute for Biology and Technology of Saclay (iBiTec‘s), CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France, diana.kirilovsky@cea.fr, +33 169089571.

Project specific requirements
We are looking for a person with formation on biochemistry and molecular biology. Knowledge on photosynthesis is welcome.

PhD Research Project 10

Molecular structure of supercomplexes under different conditions.

Project description
Structural-functional characterization of photosynthetic supercomplexes will be carried out using single particle electron microscopy and image analysis in order to understand their role and functional significance in photosynthesis of different plants and microalgal species under specific environmental conditions. In addition, the thylakoid membrane architecture in diatoms will be studied using the-state-of-the-art cryo electron tomography.

Expected Results: The structure of Photosystem II supercomplexes in evergreen conifer trees under different growth conditions will be determined for the first time. Structural characterization of Photosystem II and Photosystem I supercomplexes with other complexes of the thylakoid membrane formed under conditions of NPQ and/or state transitions. A 3D model of the thylakoid membrane architecture in diatoms will be established.

Where
A PhD candidate will be appointed sequentially in the two following labs: the lab of Prof. Egbert Boekema (co-supervisor) (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and the lab of Dr. Roman Kouřil (supervisor) (Palacky University, Czech Republic) (18 month each). The fourth year of the PhD study will be arranged according to actual needs.

The group of Egbert Boekema, Groningen Universiity, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences & Biotechnology Institute, Nijenborgh 7 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands, e.j.boekema@rug.nl.

The group of Roman Kouřil, Palacký University Olomouc, Department of Biophysics CRH, Slechtitelu 27, 78371 Olomouc, Czech Republic, roman.kouril@upol.cz, +420 585634837.

Project specific Requirements
The candidate should have a M.Sc. degree in biophysics, biochemistry or related fields.

PhD Research Project 11

Photosynthetic Membranes: from molecular to membrane organisation.

Project description

Photosynthetic organisms must permanently adapt to their light environments to ensure their proper energetic balance. This involves structural reorganizations at different levels, which tune the fate of the absorbed solar energy in the photosynthetic membrane. The ESR 12 of the S2EB network will study the reorganisations accompanying the adaptation of plants and algae to light intensity and quality both at a molecular and cellular level, using advanced spectroscopic techniques.

At a molecular level, highly selective techniques such as resonance Raman and Fluorescence Line Narrowing allow the characterization of the structural changes occurring in the cofactor binding sites in isolated proteins, membranes and organelles

At a cellular level, a novel super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technique, yet never applied to photosynthetic system will give access the details of the organization of the photosynthetic proteins in chloroplasts, live cells and algae.

Where
The group of Bruno Robert, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l‘énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives), Institute for Biology and Technology of Saclay (iBiTec‘s), Institute of Integrative Biology of Cell (Gif sur Yvette), CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France, diana.kirilovsky@cea.fr, +33 169089571.

Project specific requirements
Applications of candidates with background in physics, biophysics, biochemistry and cellular biology with strong interest to research at the physics/chemistry/biology interface will be considered.

PhD Research Project 12

Regulation of the photosynthetic membrane landscape in cyanobacteria.

Project description
We have evidence from fluorescent protein tagging and fluorescence microscopy for a very heterogeneous distribution of protein complexes in the cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane, with microdomains dedicated to specific functions. A better understanding of the composition, structure and function of the membrane microdomains in the cyanobacteria Synechococcus 7942 and Synechocystis 6803 could pave the way to smarter solutions for re-engineering cyanobacteria for biotechnological purposes. The ESR will characterise the composition of the specific membrane zones and their high-resolution structure.

Expected Results: Optimised techniques for affinity pull-downs of intact cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane microdomains. Analysis of the structural configuration of isolated membrane domains by atomic-force microscopy, negative-staining electron microscopy, freeze-fracture electron microscopy and three-dimensional characterisation by cryo-electron tomography.

Where

The group of Conrad Mullineaux, Queen Mary University of London, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, 327 Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, United Kingdom, c.mullineaux@qmul.ac.uk, +44 2078823645.

Project specific requirements
Competence in biochemistry and molecular biology. Prior experience of electron microscopy and/or atomic force microscopy would be an advantage, but is not essential.

PhD Research Project 13

Changes at the membrane level during NPQ and state transitions.

Project description
It is the goal of this project to study changes in the organization of thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria, green algae and diatoms upon the induction of NPQ and ST in vivo and to directly relate the observed changes in fluorescence kinetics to spatial reorganizations in the thylakoids examined in WP2, making use of ultrafast fluorescence spectroscopic and microscopic methods.

Expected Results: Super-resolution microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, FRAP and FLIM on green algae in state 1 and state 2 and on diatoms in the quenched and unquenched state will demonstrate the reorganisation of the supercomplexes of the thylakoid membrane in vivo during regulation.

Where
The group of Herbert van Amerongen, Wageningen University, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences; Laboratory of Biophysics, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703 HA Wageningen, The Netherlands, herbert.vanamerongen@wur.nl, +31 317482634.

Project specific requirements
We are looking for a PhD student who will use advanced (micro)spectroscopic fluorescence techniques to study dynamic photosynthetic acclimation in plants and algae. Via the Innovative Training Network “Solar Energy to Biomass – Optimisation of light energy conversion in plants and microalgae” we offer a challenging Ph.D. position in the Laboratory of Biophysics of Wageningen University.

Photosynthesis is strongly regulated: The conversion of solar energy to biomass incorporates extremely fast reactions, such as excitation energy transfer on the femtosecond timescale and slower biochemical and physiological reactions occurring on the timescale of milliseconds or more. This process is tightly regulated in order to optimise the use of the absorbed solar energy and at the same time to prevent damage to the organism under constantly changing light conditions. This is extremely important for photosynthetic efficiency, and thus for biomass accumulation in out-door or only semi-regulated greenhouse cultures used for food supplies, but also increasingly for algal mass culture, and has served as a driving force in the evolution of plants and (micro)algae.

The aim of this PhD project is to understand how plants and algae adjust their photosynthetic machinery to function optimally under various light conditions. Resulting changes in the excitation-energy flow will be measured on the pico-second to nanosecond time-scale. To this end you will use ultrafast fluorescence and microspectroscopy techniques to perform in vivo measurements on plants and algae.

We are looking for a talented highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in (bio)physics, optics, physical chemistry or related fields. You are an ambitious and enthusiastic team player with a fundamental interest in photosynthesis research and (micro)spectroscopy. Research experience is required, preferably in the fields of photosynthesis and/or spectroscopy. A good command of the English language is essential.

PhD Research Project 14

Improvement of secondary metabolites production in cyanobacteria under external stress.

Project description
In cyanobacteria, temperature, CO2 concentration and light stress can increase the secondary metabolite concentrations, factors that are also involved in the regulation of photosynthesis. The effect of modified external factors on the accumulation of cryptophycin, a secondary metabolite with strong properties against cancer, in Nostoc cells will be related to changes in photosynthesis and photoprotection under different stress conditions. Results of modelling (project 16) will further be used to improve cryptophycin production. Synechocystis and/or E. coli strains synthesizing cryptophycin will be constructed.

Expected Results: Data on cryptophycin production in Nostoc under various levels of temperature, CO2,nutrient starvation and light intensity will lead to an optimization of the production protocol. Synechocystis strains overexpressing the enzymes involved in cryptophycin synthesis will also lead to optimization of its production.

Where
The group of Céline Bourcier de Carbon, Phycosource SARL, Phycochemistry Departement, Boulevard de L‘Hautil 13, 95000 Cergy, France, celinebdec@gmail.com, +33 134487933.

Project specific Requirements
For this position we need a person with formation in microbiology and molecular biology. Some knowledge in photosynthesis and fluorescence measurements is welcome.

PhD Research Project 15

Quantifying photosynthesis in intact photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria.

Project description
The objective is to combine results from PAM fluorescence and more advanced spectroscopies in a modelling approach to quantitatively describe and interpret regulation mechanisms in intact photosynthetic organisms. Target analysis of high resolution data will result in a model that makes use of the thermodynamic properties of pools of pigments and charge-separated states.

Expected Results: A multiple wavelength protocol PAM will be developed and used in experimental set-ups of network partners. In addition, a Target model in cyanobacteria, green algae and diatoms grown in optimal and stress conditions will be realized in collaboration with network partners.

Where
The group of Jan Dekker/Ivo van Stokkum, VU University Amsterdam, Department of Physics and Astronomy, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, j.p.dekker@vu.nl, +31 2059 87931, i.h.m.van.stokkum@vu.nl,
+31 2059 87868.

Project specific Requirements
Theoretical knowledge and practical experience with spectroscopy, modeling and computer programming will be appreciated.

  • university degree at MSc level in plant sciences or plant biotechnology
  • Strong scientific interest in phenotyping and automated image-analysis
  • Profound knowledge of plant physiology is of advantage
  • Experience with photosynthesis research is of advantage (gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence)
  • Knowledge of basic statistical methods and large data-set analysis is recommended
  • Experience with programming in R or MatLab is of advantage
  • Capability to operate in dynamic environment between universities and private companies