The position is in the context of the project “Community assembly processes of ‘opportunistic’ freshwater bacteria” sponsored by the Swiss National Fund. The project explores the hypothesis that particular mechanisms of community assembly may be related to the growth strategy of freshwater planktonic bacteria. Specifically, it is to be tested if bacteria with ’opportunistic’ growth properties might disproportionally lean towards stochasticity within bacterioplankton assemblages. The relationship between functional redundancy and community assembly processes will be studied in in sets of replicate experimental consortia generated from freshwater microbial inocula at defined conditions.

The position is granted for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension for 1-2 more years.

Requirements:  Applicants must have a PhD in biological sciences, with a relationship to the position (e.g. Limnology, Microbiology, Ecology, Bioinformatics). They also must be proficient in English. We are especially looking for candidates with one or several of the following qualifications: metagenomic analysis (required), microbial community ecology, experimental work with microbial consortia, statistical analysis using R. The project is expected to be divided equally between computational and laboratory tasks.

Shortlisted candidates will be evaluated according to their match to the envisaged position, their past scientific performance, and their personal impression during an interview.

Please submit the following information per email (combined in a single PDF file): (1) a detailed CV (2) a letter of motivation, outlining your past research and your specific qualification for the position in question (3) the name and contact information of two referees.

The envisaged starting date is June 2020, but can possibly be earlier.

Contact: Please send your application per email to Prof. Jakob Pernthaler ( and indicate “Postdoc Application“ in the subject line.

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date:
Location: Limnological Station, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.