Researcher in Water Resources Engineering in Microbial Community Ecology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 05 Nov 2021

At the Division of Water Resources Engineering, in the Department of Building and Environmental technology, research and teaching pursue the understanding of how water resides and is transported in nature and in urban systems. This includes, but is not limited to, studies on the movement of rainwater, how rain and melted snow reach rivers, flooding and systems to reduce the consequences of flooding, water flows, factors affecting water quality, and erosion along open coasts, rivers and lakes. There are also projects exploring how different sectors of society can work together to find solutions to water-related challenges. There is a vast network of international collaborations including researchers and projects from around the world.

Project description
While numerous descriptions exist describing microbial communities in water engineering contexts, little is understood about their function and interaction. The majority of work has characterized bacteria in these systems, in both water and biofilm. However, how these communities function, and how these communities can be controlled or optimized to enhance breakdown of organic matter and removal of microbial threats, are not well understood. An understanding of the roles for different members in these communities can be used to monitor their function and movement in real time using microscopy, flow cytometry and DNA sequencing approaches. This, in turn, can inform managers and process engineers at water utilities and industrial partners about best practice for water treatment.

This project will examine microbial communities used in both drinking water and waste water treatment. Spatiotemporal aspects in the community composition and distribution will be examined in the context of function and suitability for source tracking of key members in these communities. Statistical methods and machine learning will be applied to link monitoring to microbial dynamics to inform industrial partners. 

This project is a collaboration with several water utilities in Sweden and cooperation with them, including sampling full-scale systems, will form the backbone of this project.

Work duties
The main duty involved in the researcher position is to conduct research. This researcher position will include interaction and communication with industry partners. Teaching in the first, second and third cycles of studies may be included, up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position includes the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

The work duties will also involve supervision of degree projects and doctoral students, collaboration with industry and wider society, active seeking of research funding, and administration related to the work duties listed above.

Qualification requirements
Applicants must have:

  • A PhD in the subject of the position such as microbial ecology, biotechnology or microbiology, but must include use of bioinformatics in any context.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Basic level of oral and written proficiency in Swedish.
  • Programming skills in R.
  • Knowledge of natural and/or engineered microbial communities.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

  • A very good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • PhD thesis in a water engineering context.
  • Experience working with industrial partners in the water engineering or treatment field.
  • Teaching skills.
  • Skills in advanced microscopic techniques and/or flow cytometry, including data analysis.
  • Skills in metagenomic analysis.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment
Fixed-term employment, 1 year, 100 %.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English. LTH uses a special qualifications portfolio to report and document qualifications – see link below. This is to be used also for appointments of researchers. Upload the application as PDF-files in the recruitment system. Read more: http://www.lth.se/english/working-at-lth/to-apply-for-academic-positions-at-lth/                


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