Postdoctoral research fellowship in the University of Aveiro (Portugal) to study the microbiome of anthozoans from the CCZ.

Postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) to study the microbiome of anthozoans from the CCZ.

One postdoctoral fellowship is available in the project "REDEEM - Resilience of anthozoan corals to deep-sea mining, an holobiontic approach” (project nº PTDC/BIABMA/ 29861/2017), financed by the Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, in its FEDER/FNR component, and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in its state budget component (OE), under the following conditions:

Scientific area: Microbiology

Project summary and work plan: Commercial-scale mining for polymetallic nodules could have a major impact on the deep-sea environment, but the effects of these mining activities on organisms are very poorly known. In addition to the removal of nodules, that are essential for many species, nodule mining will also cause sediment plumes that may bury or smother seafloor organisms and habitats, and prevent larval settlement and colonisation.

REDEEM aims to study, for the first time, the impact of such plume on anthozoan corals, one of the most important megafaunal components on the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), the main region targeted for nodule mining. REDEEM integrates 3 main aspects of coral ecology: feeding, life-cycle and microbiome, following the well accepted hypothesis that coral resilience depends on the intrinsic relationship between the coral host and the associated microbial community (known as the “coral holobiont”). The postdoctoral fellow will focus on the characterization of the microbiome of specimens collected during a recent research cruise to the CCZ and is expected to:

  • Purify and amplify bacterial DNA from anthozoan samples
  • Use bioinformatics tools to analyze massive parallel sequencing data
  • Perform statistical data analyses
  • Publish the results of the study

Work location: Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) and Biology Department of the University of Aveiro (Aveiro, Portugal) under the supervision of Dr. Ana Hilário and Professor Isabel Henriques (CESAM and University of Coimbra)

Admission requirements: PhD in Biology or related area with a demonstrated ability for independent and creative research. Experience, demonstrated by scientific publications, in acquisition and analyses of massive parallel sequencing. Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge on several statistical tools, particularly the software R, SPSS and PRIMER.

Duration of the fellowship: 12 months, beginning in October 2019.

Value of monthly maintenance allowance: €1.509,80, according to the table of values of the fellowships awarded directly by FCT (http://alfa.fct.mctes.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). According to Article 10 of the Statute of the Research Fellow from Portuguese FCT, the value of the social insurance can be reimbursed, upon the decision of the student to subscribe it.

Methods of selection: The evaluation will take into account the applicant's academic curriculum (40%), scientific experience (40%), adequacy of research profile (20%).

Composition of the Jury: Dr. Ana Hilário (President), Dr. Isabel Henriques (member), Dr. Clara Rodrigues (member).

Application deadline and documentation: The call closes on 15 July 2019.

Applicants should send the following documents: motivation letter, Curriculum vitae, Copy of PhD certificate, copy of ID card or Passport by email to ahilario@ua.pt

Applicable laws and regulations: The allocation of the fellowship is based on the Statute for Research Scholars and the Research Grants Regulation by FCT (https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/docs/RegulamentoBolsas_25_06_2012.pdf) and the Grants Regulation of Scientific Research of the University of Aveiro (https://www.ua.pt/sgrhf/ReadObject.aspx?obj=21946). If the doctorate degree was awarded by a foreign higher education institution, the degree must comply with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 66/2018 of 16th August until the signature of the contract.