3 ofertas de doctorado sobre ecología de arrecifes de coral (Amsterdam, Paises Bajos) ~ Bioblogia.net

1 de marzo de 2017

3 ofertas de doctorado sobre ecología de arrecifes de coral (Amsterdam, Paises Bajos)

The overall decline of reefs in response to anthropogenic aspects receives much attention, but the understanding of ecological processes that shaped coral reefs in the first place, and how such processes change with shifting reef stable states have not met similar attention. Consequently, changing patterns in reef community composition have been well described, but processes shaping these patterns, including sponges as (so far largely neglected) key ecosystems engineers remain poorly understood. These processes are at the base of management tools, conservation strategies and
sustainable use of reef resources. Therefore we offer: *3 PhD-candidates in sponge biology / coral reef ecology at the University of Amsterdam – Faculty of Science – Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics.*

*Project description*

*EU ERC Starting Grant: SPONGE ENGINE — Fast and efficient sponge engines
drive and modulate the food web of reef ecosystems:*

Coral reefs are iconic examples of biological hotspots, highly appreciated
because of their ecosystem services. Yet, they are threatened by human
impact and climate change, highlighting the need to develop tools and
strategies to curtail changes in these ecosystems. Remarkably, ever since
Darwin’s descriptions of coral reefs, it has been a mystery how one of
Earth’s most productive and diverse ecosystems thrives in oligotrophic
seas, as an oasis in a marine desert. Our team recently discovered the
‘sponge loop’ pathway (De Goeij et al. *Science* 2013) that efficiently
retains and transfers energy and nutrients on the reef. We recognized
sponges as potential (and so far neglected) key ecosystem drivers, and
accumulated evidence on sponge loops in other ecosystems, such as deep-sea
coral reefs. As a result, current reef food web models, lacking
sponge-driven resource cycling, are incomplete and need to be redeveloped.
However, mechanisms that determine the capacity of sponge 'engines', how
they are fuelled, and drive communities are unknown.

*The aim of this ERC project is to systematically establish the novel reef
food web framework, integrating sponges as key ecosystem drivers.* To this
end, sponges will be evaluated on functional traits (morphology, associated
microbes, pumping rate) in the processing of dissolved food, the main fuel
of the engine. At the community level, we will assess to what extent these
different traits are a driving force in structuring reef ecosystems, from
fuel input (primary producers) to engine output (driving and modulating the
consumer food web). This framework derived from a Caribbean reef ecosystem
will then be implemented in a sponge-driven food web model, a much-needed
foundation to test and predict future scenarios of changes in reef
communities. Ultimately, we will test and generalize the novel food web
framework at a tropical Indo-Pacific, a temperate Mediterranean, and a
cold-water North-Atlantic reef.

We are looking for 3 excellent PhD-candidates to join our team:

*PhD-project 1: **Sponge functional traits determining processing of
dissolved organic matter (DOM). *The candidate will study the physiology
and functional traits of different sponge types (high- versus low
abundances of associated microbes; massive versus encrusting growth forms;
high versus low pumping rate) in the uptake and assimilation of different
sources of DOM (coral- versus algal-derived) through the combination of
physiological field and laboratory experiments. Additional molecular
techniques will be applied to identify the composition of the associated
microbial community involved in DOM-processing using next generation high
throughput sequencing and stable isotope probing (SIP).

*PhD-project 2: Early metazoan eukaryote-prokaryote symbiotic relations:
DOM processing by sponge cells and associated microbes. *The candidate will
study the contribution of associated/symbiotic microbes in the processing
of different (coral- and algal-derived) sources of DOM by the sponge
holobiont. Moreover, the candidate will identify potential metabolic
exchanges between the sponge host and its symbionts. Therefore three
different stable isotope tracer approaches will be conducted in both
laboratory and field based experiments: sponge/microbial cell separation,
compound-specific fatty acid biomarkers and state-of-the-art NanoSIMS

*PhD-project 3: Sponge communities drive reef communities from source to
sink. *The candidate will conduct extensive field surveys and *in situ
to determine the carbon and nitrogen cycling of different communities of
sponges (massive, encrusting and excavating) and relate these fluxes to
algal and coral communities that fuel the different types of sponge
engines. The candidate will also determine whether sponge communities
increase productivity and diversity of local pelagic and benthic
micro-faunal communities.

The successful candidates will be based at IBED in Amsterdam, yet all three
PhD-projects include significant periods of field work (at least 3 months
yearly) foremost on Curaçao. Moreover, the candidate for PhD-project 1 will
further spent up to 9 months at the San Diego State University (in
collaboration with Dr. Forest Rohwer and Dr. Linda Wegley-Kelly) for
training and analysis. All PhD-candidates will closely work together for
the larger part of the project (fieldwork periods will be timed
accordingly), but each PhD can and will independently conduct and finalize
their own project.


The PhD candidate must have:

[image: *] MSc in Marine Sciences (all candidates) and sufficient
knowledge in molecular biology (PhD-project 1), cell- and microbiology
(PhD-projects 1 and 2), or marine ecology (PhD-project 3);

[image: *] proven skills in scientific writing (either excellent
Master-thesis (in English) or published paper in peer-reviewed scientific

[image: *] experience with laboratory and/or field experiments
(including data analysis), preferably with sponges, corals, algae or

[image: *] interest to combine theory with laboratory and field

[image: *] proven skills in molecular techniques and bioinformatics
(high-throughput sequencing) (PhD-project 1 only);

[image: *] ability to work on a multidisciplinary topic in a
multidisciplinary research team;

[image: *] SCUBA diving certification is mandatory for PhD-project 3
and highly recommended for PhD-projects 1/2;

[image: *] driving license.

*Further information*

[image: *] Dr. ir. Jasper de Goeij (j.m.degoeij@uva.nl). Website:



The positions will start preferably 1 June 2017. 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 will be extended for a total duration of 4 years. The
full-time gross monthly salary will range from € 2,191 in the first year to
€ 2,801 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD
candidates. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities
<http://www.vsnu.nl/en_GB/cao-universiteiten.html> is applicable. The
annual salary will be increased by 8% holiday allowance and 8.3%
end-of-year bonus.

*Job application*

Applications should include a detailed CV, a motivation letter, and two
reference letters (including referent contact details from which
information about the candidate can be obtained) and should be sent
ultimately at 31 March 2017 to:


Please quote vacancy number 17-076 in the subject field. Interviews are
aimed to be held in the 3rd and 4th week of April 2017.

*Note: If you apply for more than 1 position, please do not send multiple
applications, but clearly explain in your motivation letter which of these
positions would fit you best and why.*

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