Millipedes are one of the largest and most important invertebrate classes. Typically detritivores, millipedes are considered keystone species in many terrestrial ecosystems. Like most arthropods, millipedes host a diverse microbiome in their guts, yet the exact roles of this gut microbiome remain unclear. Millipede species share much of their diet but differ in their gut conditions and hence likely in the microbially-derived processes occurring in them, as evident by the fact that only some species are methanogenic. Therefore, millipedes make an excellent model system for studying the microbiome structure and function, and the role of small anaerobic niches in the functions of terrestrial ecosystems. This project aims at evaluating to what degree do millipedes depend on their microbiome, and to elucidate the microbial food networks in methanogenic and non-methanogenic species. This will produce mechanistic knowledge not only about the ecological function and importance of millipedes but also about how similar microbial networks behave under different redox conditions.
Applicants should hold an M.Sc. in Biological Sciences (preferably microbiology) and must be strongly motivated to work in this multidisciplinary field. The work will be split between lab work and computational work. Prior experience in Linux, bioinformatics and scripting languages will be favourably considered but is not a prerequisite for selection. Candidates must be proficient in English.
Please submit: a professional CV (no more than 2 pages), a statement of interest and motivation for the position (max. 1 page), a list of publications (if any), and the names and contact information of two professional references, via email with the subject: SoWa-Millipedes-PhD to firstname.lastname@example.org
Preference will be given to applications received by May 2019.
Possible starting dates: July -- October 2019
Dr Roey Angel
Soil & Water Research Infrastructure and Institute of Soil Biology
Biology Centre CAS
Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice
About the employer
SoWa is a newly established part of the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, whose research predominantly addresses ecological topics. The research involves collaboration across disciplines, the use of diverse methodological approaches (molecular biology, stable isotopes, field ecology, mathematical modelling, etc.), and a combination of analytical and holistic approaches to problem-solving. Core facilities with shared equipment support all of the Centre’s scientific institutes. SoWa will primarily support research aimed at understanding the key physicochemical and biological processes responsible for providing ecosystem services, nutrient cycling (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) with emphasis on organic matter decomposition, water runoff, water purification etc. The main focus will be on ecosystems under heavy anthropogenic pressure.
About the location
České Budějovice is a medium-sized town ca. 150 km south of Prague with 100,000 inhabitants, a relaxed atmosphere, and a growing community of foreign scientists at the University and the Biology Centre. Three faculties and five research institutes dealing with aquatic and terrestrial biota are located on the same campus, allowing easy access to other researchers and resources. Both the town and the surrounding countryside provide numerous opportunities for research and leisure activities. Living costs are low by international standards. Courses of the Czech language are offered for international staff to reach a basic level of proficiency in everyday situations.