The is looking for a PhD candidate in Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology Project description Persistence in the environment is a key property in assessing the environmental risks of organic chemicals and depends on the ability of microorganisms to adapt to and degrade new chemicals in the environment. The research project “Application of chemostat systems to include adaptation of microbial communities in persistency testing” is a collaboration between IBED and the Department of Molecular Cell Physiology of the VU University Amsterdam and is part of the Long-Range Research Initiative of the European Chemical Industry Council. Chemostat systems will be employed in this project to study the adaptation of microbial populations to persistent chemicals, how this is affected by the presence of organic substrates and nutrient conditions and the use of adapted microbiota in ready biodegradability tests. The following research questions will be addressed: To what extent is adaptation influenced by environmental conditions (e.g. chemical concentration, nutrient levels, complexity of the microbial community)? At what level does the community adapt? Does species composition change? What is the role of population changes in biodegradation of new chemicals? Does selection of competent bacteria initially present in very low numbers play a dominant role? Which molecular events contribute to adaptation? The anticipated results of this project will contribute to a better understanding of the role of adaptation in determining the rates of biodegradation of chemicals and to the development of guidelines for persistency tests in which the role of adaptation is accounted for.
MSc in environmental chemistry, microbiology, or environmental technology; experience with experimental approaches relevant to the project, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, chemostat cultivation, and/or molecular characterization of microbial communities; ability to work on a multidisciplinary topic in a multidisciplinary research team.
The position will start preferably 1 April 2015. The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of 4 years. (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years) The full-time gross monthly salary will range from €2.125 in the first year to €2,717 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD candidates. The Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities is applicable. The annual salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus.2125 - 2717