A postdoctoral research fellowship is available at the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pretoria (www.up.ac.za/cmeg).
The Southern Ocean (SO) is a crucial marine ecosystem globally and is responsible for the uptake of substantial amounts of anthropogenic carbon. There is now some understanding of phytoplankton biology and the influence of oceanographic variables, which is leading to improved models incorporating the biological carbon pump. The degree of uncertainty in these models remains high and there is increasing recognition that other biological components (e.g. chemoautotrophic microorganisms) may be the source of these discrepancies. However, very little is known regarding the functional status of microbial guilds in the SO, which may be crucial in consolidating the carbon deficit. Here, we propose a series of subprojects, using state-of-the-art technologies, aimed at elucidating the role of chemoautotrophic guilds in the SO. Taken together, these projects directly address a fundamental biodiversity topic as identified through the South African Marine and Antarctic Strategy Plan and Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research framework documents.
We expect that the applicant has the following qualifications/skills:
- PhD degree within the field of microbiology, ecology, bioinformatics or similar
- Expertise in molecular microbial ecology techniques
- Ability to use bioinformatics and statistics
- Published firstauthored papers in leading journals in the field of microbial ecology or environmental microbiology
- Use of bioinformatic tools and software such as mothur, R and/or Perl programming.
- Experience in Java scripting, Python programming is an advantage
- Motivation for independent scientific work
Contact: Dr. Thulani P. Makhalanyane