PhD Scholarship - Microbial Ecology (closes 8/9/2019)

ASLO Positions

PhD Scholarship - Microbial Ecology (closes 8/9/2019)

DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Program

Call for applications for a Doctoral Scholarship integrated in the DFG Research Training Group R3

The Research Training Group R3 - Resilience of Lake Ecosystems at the University of Konstanz studies the response of aquatic ecosystems, and their resilience and reversibility to changing abiotic and biotic conditions, using Lake Constance as model system. Lake Constance, one of the best- studied lakes in the world, is perfectly suited for this, as the lake has been affected by a multitude of environmental stressors (e.g. eutrophication, climate change, neobiota) within the last century. Eutrophication, the stressor of main concern during the 1960s to 1980s, has been removed successfully, but its immediate and long-term consequences for the ecosystem, as well as the mechanisms inducing changes, are not well understood. Within the Research Training Group R3, a diverse group of doctoral researchers is investigating the response of community structure, biological interactions and carbon and nutrient flows to changing conditions in Lake Constance.
More information can be found at

We invite international applicants to join the Research Training Group R3. A doctoral scholarship funded by the DAAD is available for the following research topic:

Impact of Bacterial Organophosphorus Degradation on the Planktonic Food Web of Lake Constance

Project Description: Phytoplankton growth in oligotrophic Lake Constance is mainly limited by the availability of phosphorus. In addition to inorganic phosphate, organophosphate esters (OPE) and organophosphonates (OP) can be nutritional sources of P to microorganisms. Typical OPE substrates are nucleic acids and phospholipids, and typical natural OP substrates are methylphosphonate and aminoethylphosphonate; xenobiotic OPs include pesticides such as glyphosate. The impact of OPE- and OP-degradation by bacteria in sustaining microbial growth and that of higher trophic levels under strong P-limitation, has not been well-characterized. This project aims at understanding bacterial OPE- and particularly OP-degradation and how this additional P is entering the planktonic food web. The research will include isolation of OP-degrading Lake Constance bacteria and experiments involving these bacteria in combination with bacteriovorous flagellates and algae. The project is integrated in the doctoral program of University of Konstanz and the Research Training Group R3 (, and is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD.

Application: We search for a highly motivated doctoral researcher with a MSc degree in Microbiology, Limnology or a related discipline. Applicants should be experienced in working with microbial systems and have a background in biodegradation, plankton ecology and/or sequence-based community analysis. The candidate should be able to communicate effectively in English with individuals from a wide range of disciplines.

For more information on this project contact PD Dr. David Schleheck (, Microbial Ecology (

For the first step of the application process, please send the following documents as single PDF file to Dr. Tina Romer,, coordinator of the Research Training Group R3 until 9th August 19.

- Motivation letter detailing why you think you will contribute successfully to the research project and how you will fit into the Research Training Group R3 (one page).
- An exposé with your ideas on experimental strategies and methods for addressing the research question (one page).
- Curriculum vitae.
 List of publications (if applicable).
- Certificates of education.
- two letters of recommendation from faculty members of your home university (using the forms found under: or

Details on the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme, the application procedure and eligibility criteria: