Postdoctoral Researcher in Marine Microbiology/Metagenomics

University of Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoc to work on the Academy of Finland funded research project titled “Next Generation Tool for Environmental Assessment” led by Dr. Karoliina Koho. The post doc will be employed on a fulltime, fixed term 13 months position (1 Sep 2017- 30 Sep 2018) with a four-month probation period. To combat and protect marine areas, an ambitious objective was set by the European Commission of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to achieve a good environmental status in European Waters by 2020. As a consequence there is a growing demand for assessment of the human activities impact on marine habitats. However, traditional monitoring approaches are very labor intensive, costing a lot of manpower and resources. The existing monitoring programs for the Baltic Sea, for example, are under a lot of financial pressure and urged to become more cost-effective. Therefore, new approaches are urgently needed to provide smart solutions for environmental monitoring. With the application of Next Generation Sequencing, this project aims to develop a new tool for ecosystem assessment in the Baltic Sea, providing detailed, yet rapidly accessible information on changes in marine biodiversity and quality of the marine environment. Once calibrated, this new tool will save time and resources. The proposed project has high affinity to environmental agencies, industry and environmental consultancies, all interested in quantifying the ecosystem health in a cost-effective manner.

Applications from well-motivated Finnish and international candidates are welcomed. The candidate should hold a PhD degree in environmental microbiology/microbial ecology, or a related field. Background in marine microbiology and metagenomics is essential. Experience in working with standard molecular methods (e.g. nucleic acid extraction from environmental samples, PCR, RT-PCR), and next generation sequencing (library preparations and subsequent bioinformatics data analysis) is required. Understanding of marine biogeochemical processes is assumed. It is also foreseen that the post holder will participate in fieldwork involving marine sediment sampling. Excellent English communication skills (both written and oral) are expected.

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