Postdoc in ECO-COATING – Engineering Control of Organic Coatings on Autonomous Navy Gliders

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 21 Feb 2023

Department of Biology, Section of Microbiology
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

This Postdoc position is associated with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project funded in the Arcadia program ECO-COATING – Engineering Control of Organic Coatings on Autonomous Navy Gliders”.  The overall aim of the project is to assemble and test synthetic communities for application on navy submerged sliders to reduce drag. The postdoc will recover bacterial isolates from a provided sample, followed by identification and characterization of properties including biofilm formation capability alone and in isolation, facilitative/antagonistic properties, stress tolerance etc. Selected communities will be grown in biofilm models and further examined, focusing on species composition, spatial organization, priority effects and resistance to invasion. These efforts will apply traditional microbiological methodologies (including selective cultivation), molecular techniques (quantitative PCR (qPCR) and sequencing), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and advanced imaging by confocal microscopy.

The main tasks of the Postdoc fellow will be to 1) do systematic isolation and characterization of bacteria, 2) assess biofilm formation capability in different models, 3) test and design specific primers for qPCR, 4) design FISH probes and optimize the FISH protocol for confocal microscopy analysis, 5) apply bioinformatic pipelines for image analysis (FISH) and community composition analysis (based on sequencing data).

The project is highly collaborative with partners in the US, UK and Spain. The Postdoc will be responsible for continuous communication with these partners and providing monthly updates for joint meetings in the consortium.

The Postdoc position is for 2 years, and the project will be carried out at Section of Microbiology, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen where you will engage in teamwork within the group and with national and international collaborators. The postdoc’s duties will include research as well as teaching. The post may also include performance of other duties.

The position is to be filled by 1 June 2023.

The scientific environment
The postdoc will be part of the Section of Microbiology, and the Biofilm research group headed by Associate professor Mette Burmølle. The section houses state of the art culture-independent experimental infrastructure that enables us to examine how microbes interact at a scale that is relevant for such small organisms and study the roles of the individual species in these interactions. To do so we use techniques such as high throughput sequencing, flow cytometry, ultra-high resolution bioimaging, confocal microscopy and microbial reporter systems.

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Required Qualifications                                    

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious researcher with strong experience in biofilm microbiology, genetic engineering and bacterial interactions. Applicants should have the following qualifications:

  • PhD in Microbiology, Bioengineering, Molecular Biology or equivalent
  • Hands on and documented experience with cultivation and analysis of bacteria
  • Hands on and documented experience with FISH analysis on mixed bacterial biofilms and advanced (quantitative) image analysis
  • Previous experience with use of in vitro biofilm models and confocal microscopy analysis of bacterial communities
  • Previous experience with community analysis based on qPCR and amplicon sequencing
  • Previous experience with use of bioinformation pipelines for analysis of sequencing data, advanced (quantitative) image analysis or similar  
  • Fluency in English

Nice-to-have qualifications

Main tasks of the appointed applicant

  • Isolation and characterization of bacterial strains
  • Biofilm community analysis based on qPCR, FISH and sequencing
  • Communication and reporting of results to project partners

The application must contain:

  • Motivated letter of application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Complete List of publications
  • PhD, Bachelor and Master diploma and transcripts in English
  • Separate reprints of 2 particularly relevant papers

Contact and inquiries

Associate Professor Mette Burmølle, PhD:

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

he application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

The deadline for the application is 21 February 2023, 23:59 GMT +1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at .

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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