PhD in the field of acidophiles

PhD in the field of acidophiles

Published Deadline Location
13 Mar 31 Mar Wageningen

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Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and independent PhD candidate with interest in microbiology, specifically on the application of omics approaches (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) to study the microbial physiology of acidophilic anaerobes. The candidate should have a good background on microbiology, strong motivation, good communication skills and ability for teamwork and cooperation.

Project description:
This project is part of the Gravitation Research Program SIAM - Soehngen Institute of Anaerobic Microbiology ( The PhD project will be developed at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) under the supervision of Dr. Irene Sánchez-Andrea and in collaboration with Radboud University (Nijmegen, the NL) co-supervised by Dr. Cornelia Welte.

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a phenomenon caused by the chemical oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores, catalyzed by acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and archaea. While the oxic part of these AMD show low-diversity dominated by iron- and sulfur-oxidizers, the microbial diversity in the anoxic sediments of AMD environments is much larger than previously thought, consisting of complex communities involved in the carbon, sulfur and nitrogen cycles. In this project research, we will study two isolates as representatives of important activities of the anaerobic zones of extreme acidic environments, namely an acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria and an acidotolerant methanogen. We will study their physiology with special focus on the mechanisms used to resist extreme conditions of low pH and high heavy metal concentrations.


Wageningen University & Research


  • Master in Biology, Biotechnology or Microbiology.
  • Knowledge of molecular methods and microbial physiology is essential.
  • Experience in data analysis using bioinformatics tools is an advantage.
  • Fluency in English (both spoken and written). For international applicants (non-native English speakers) it is necessary to have: TOEFL internet-based 90 with a minimum of 23 for speaking, or IELTS (academic version) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 for speaking.
  • Good communication and presentation capabilities.

Conditions of employment

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-. in the first year rising up to € 2972,-. per month in the fourth year.

We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.


Wageningen University & Research

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research, an organisation that brings together fundamental and applied scientific research. We work on creating 'healthy food in a biobased society' with private sector companies, research institutes and government agencies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our innovations play a crucial role in solving the major issues which affect society today. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are key in all that we do. In short, we are a major international employer offering considerable potential for your career.

Wageningen University & Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

We are the group of Microbial Physiology within the laboratory of Microbiology of Wageningen University (
The Laboratory of Microbiology is engaged in research and education in biotransformations and interactions of microorganisms as well as their control. Moreover, it contributes to the exploitation of the generated knowledge in the application areas of Health & Food, Bioproducts & Energy and Environment & Sustainability. Microbial physiology group is especially interested in microbial transformations in anoxic conditions with strong interest in syntrophy, reductive respiratory processes and bioproduction of interesting molecules.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at:

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.


  • PhD positions
  • Natural Sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • University Graduate
  • 483027


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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