Nitrogen fixation by diazotrophic plankton (closes 4/30/2019)

ASLO Positions

Nitrogen fixation by diazotrophic plankton (closes 4/30/2019)

Dinitrogen (N2) fixation by diazotrophic plankton provides the greatest external source of nitrogen to the oceans. The energy and nutritional resources that limit N2 fixation in are geographically distributed by global ocean circulation. Superimposed on this large scale, smaller flow instabilities such as submesoscale (0.1-10 km, hours/days) and mesoscale (10-100 km, weeks/months) structures mix seawater parcels altering natural resource gradients. While these structures can be depicted by satellite data, their effect on microbial community structure and their ecological interactions requires sampling in situ. Unfortunately, the usual spatiotemporal resolution of oceanographic cruises does not resolve the (sub)mesoscale. REDESIGN will use innovative high-resolution biomass and N2 fixation and diazotroph diversity measurement devices to (i) explore how diazotroph niches are created and distributed by (sub)mesoscale structures, and (ii) quantify their effect on fixed nitrogen inputs to the ocean.

Diazotroph community structure at the (sub)mesoscale level will be investigated in oceanographic cruises in North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans and the South China Sea.

The candidate will be based at the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO, Marseille, France). The PhD scholarship will be covered by the Ministère de lʼEnseignement supérieur,
de la Recherche et de lʼInnovation.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with
• A solid background in marine biogeochemistry and plankton dynamics
• Availability to participate in oceanographic cruises
• Matlab and/or R programming skills
• Excellent English speaking/writing/reading skills
• Molecular biology skills are desired but not obligatory

Interested candidates who are in hold of a Master degree in an adequate subject or envision finishing it before June 2019 may contact Mar Benavides ( with the following information:
• Motivation letter
• Contacts of 3 references
• CV
• Master’s degree qualifications (accompanied by an explanation of the country’s grading system if applicable)