PhD position in the field of mummy microbiome research

Our research aim is to assess the microbiome composition in mummified human remains.

EURAC

 

 

 

Job Announcement

 

PhD position in the field of mummy microbiome research

 

Institute for Mummy Studies, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy

 

We are looking for a microbial ecologist with expertise in advanced molecular, bioinformatics and microscopic techniques and an interest in applying innovative methods to the field of mummy microbiome research. Our Institute is internationally renowned for its research on the Iceman and other mummified and skeletal human remains of different periods from all over the world.

Our research aim is to assess the microbiome composition in mummified human remains. There is increasing evidence that mummified human remains still contain traces of the original endogenous microbial community members. Often, however, this ancient microbiome is masked by the DNA of post-mortem upgrown organisms and environmental microbial contaminations. Therefore, mummy microbiome research can discover both traces of the ancient host microbiome and metabolic key-players in the mummy ecosystem that potentially foster a slow but constant degradation process of unique mummified remains. The aim of this project is to characterize both the ancient endogenous and still active microbial community members in mummified human remains.

 

The main research objectives are:

  • In-depth taxonomic characterization of the microbial community members in various mummified human remains from all over the world
  • Comparison of ancient and modern human microbiomes
  • Characterization of the still active microbial community members: Implications for the conservation of the human mummies.

 

We offer a three years PhD position at the Eurac Research - Institute for Mummy Studies.

The position is available as early as September 2019.

 

What we seek

We are looking for a highly motivated and independently working young scientist with a conceptual and practical background in the application of a holistic microbial ecology approach on the ancient human remains. To decipher both the ancient endogenous microbiome and the still active microbial community members this holistic approach combines molecular biology (DNA/RNA based analysis) and shotgun metagenomics (binning, assembly, taxonomic/functional assignment, phylogeny) with microscopic analyses of the microbes (Fluorescence in situ Hybridisation).

 

Experience in most of the mentioned areas/techniques is requested.

Proficiency in spoken and written English is mandatory.

 

What we offer

We offer up to three years of appointment as a PhD student according to the salary scheme of the EURAC. The candidate will work in a young and international team with a highly stimulation research environment. The EURAC is an equal opportunity employer.

 

How to apply

Please send an E-mail before 31.05.2019 to mummy.studies@eurac.edu containing a pdf-file with a short cover letter and a detailed CV (including a brief description of research interests and of the educational background). Please mention in your E-mail the subject: PhD mummy microbiome.

For further information please contact Frank Maixner: Tel: +39 0471 055 567

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Application deadline:
Start date:
Location: Institute for Mummy Studies, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy