Is microbial diversity necessary for ecosystems to function?

Updated: almost 5 years ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

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Location Macquarie University, Department of Biological Science
  • Biological Sciences > Environmental Science/Ecology
  • Biological Sciences > Microbiology
  • Biological Sciences > Molecular Biology
  • Earth Sciences > Ecology

App. deadline Applications accepted year round/until filled
  • Scholarship available

Eligibility Australian and New Zealand residents
Is microbial diversity necessary for ecosystems to function?

A PhD scholarship is available for three years to study the diversity of microbes in groundwater.

Groundwater ecosystems contain a unique and largely unexplored microbial flora, housing the potential for novel biological discoveries. Microbial communities are the foundation of the groundwater ecosystem and provide the essential ecosystem service of removing nutrients from groundwater and improving water quality. This study will examine how the ability to fulfil this function is related to the diversity of microbes such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa in the community.

This study will provide modern professional training in water-related laboratory technology and management concepts relating to this very valuable natural resource. The project will involve field sampling across NSW and laboratory work, combining molecular fingerprinting, functional gene analysis, molecular-based taxonomy and phylogenetic analyses to quantify ecosystem function, and assess diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. Diversity will be assessed across a range of groundwater ecosystems and related to both environmental conditions and ecosystem function.

This project is a collaboration between Macquarie University, UTS and the University of Cologne, Germany.

The scholarship is available to domestic candidates only. The successful candidate will have either a first class Honours degree, or an MSc (by research), a current drivers license, plus experience in either molecular analysis, microbial ecology or groundwater studies.

Applicants should submit a cover letter detailing relevant experience, a CV and an academic transcript to the principal supervisor: Dr Grant Hose, email: telephone: +61 2 9850-6296

The 2010 full-time stipend rate is $22,500 pa tax exempt for 3.5 years.

For further information contact:

Dr Grant Hose

(02) 9850 6296


Prof John Ellis

(02) 9514 4161

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