link to homepage

Navigation and service

PhD student position: Doctoral student for genetics and biophysics of unicellular algae

Advertising institute: IBG-2 - Plant Sciences
Reference number: D013/2014, Biotechnology, biology

For our Institute of Bio- and Geosciences - Plant Sciences (IBG-2) we are seeking a

Doctoral student for genetics and biophysics of unicellular algae.

Plants and algae are the basis for nourishment of the growing world population and for satisfying its changing needs. They are also the base for future bio-economy of renewable raw materials, for sustainable services as well as source of energetic biomass and biofuels. Algae are also strong candidate organisms in approaches to climate change mitigation. It is, in particular, phenotyping and exploitation of molecular control mechanisms in plants and algae that are addressed with a high international impact at the Institute of Bio- and Geological Sciences (IBG-2). We are now seeking to fill a position at the doctoral student level on genetic and biophysic of unicellular algae- for selection of strains for optimal growth in photobioreactors.

We offer a 3-year position that (i) entails excellent working environment within a multidisciplinary research field, (ii) is part of a motivated and growing group of international researchers and (iii) will be embedded in the structured doctoral training program of the institute including supervision by a doctoral committee and an organized training in research and soft skills.


The doctoral student will be responsible for creating biological diversity in two algal species through both chemical and insertional mutagenesis as well as selecting phenotypes, through biophysical and biochemical methods, putatively suited for improved growth rates in photobioreactors. Insertional mutagenesis will be used for identification of genes responsible for specific phenotypes in transformable species (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii). Identified sequences will be used as a basis for identification of orthologous mutations in non-transformable species. Selected strains will be tested in photobioreactors of different sizes for biomass productivity.

Candidates should hold a master or diploma degree in biotechnology, biology or a related area with a good final grade (in the German system 2.0 or better). The position requires fundamental knowledge in microbiological and molecular biology methods and practical experience with spectroscopic (fluorescence/absorption) methods. We expect a pro-active and independent worker with good verbal and written communication skills in German and/or English. Candidates should be motivated to work within an interdisciplinary team in an international research environment and be ready to spend significant part of their working period at the University of Verona, Department of Biotechnology that will participate to this research project.

For further information please contact Dr. Dominik Behrendt, e-mail:, phone: +49 2461 61-3334.

Equal opportunity is a cornerstone of our staff policy. Applications from disabled persons are welcomed. Payment of the PhD fellow will be based on salary grade 13/2 Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the candidate's profile and the subject of his/her PhD thesis an additional allowance may be granted.

Please send your application – quoting the reference number - with the relevant documentation to:

Mr. K. Beumers
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich