The subsurface hosts critical processes for the availability of life-sustaining resources. In this environment, bacteria play a major role in triggering chemical reactions and mediating biogeochemical processes.
Soils and aquifers are typically highly heterogeneous in the spatial distribution of fluid flow velocities and chemicals, such as pollutants or nutrients.
Bacteria in such environments are therefore exposed to heterogeneous hydrodynamic and chemical landscapes. The focus of these two PhD projects will be on (1) measuring the chemotaxis control on bacterial diffusivity in heterogeneous nutrient fields and (2) quantifying the population dynamics of competing strains.
The students will have the unique opportunity to learn, develop and apply a range of cutting-edge experimental techniques, including microfluidic technology, image analysis and state-of-the-art microscopy.
Measurements will be guided by and compared with theory developed within the projects. Findings will help advance an important new paradigm in soil ecology the importance of microscale processes and dynamics - and will carry fundamental implications for our ability to predict the response of soil microorganisms to environmental perturbations.
The successful candidates will have a background in either physics, engineering, biology or biophysics, or related areas, with a strong quantitative inclination and a desire to work experimentally at the interface between biophysics, microbiology, and microbial ecology.
The student will have the opportunity to work in a highly interdisciplinary, cutting-edge, fast-paced research environment, to interact with researchers from many different disciplines, to gain skills in a number of technologies, to learn about fundamental biophysical and ecological processes in microorganisms and to interact with world-class collaborators.
The ability to work independently, but also to interact and collaborate within a team, will be great assets. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr.
Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez (Eawag and ETH Zurich, ) and Prof. Roman Stocker (ETH Zurich, ).
We look Forward to receiving your online application including a CV, full transcripts from undergraduate studies (both Bachelor and Masters), a brief (1-2 page) statement of research interests, and at least 2 (preferably 3) letters of reference.
Review of applications will begin on September 1 and continue until the positions are filled, with the positions to start as early as January 1, 2021.
Eawag offers a unique and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work.
Please send it through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. A click on the button below will take you directly to the application form.