PhD scholarship: European eel larval nutrition and ontogeny of the digestive system

DTU Aqua
Thursday 08 Mar 18

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A PhD fellowship in experimental research on larval culture of European eel is available at the National Institute for Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) at the Technical University of Denmark. The position will be placed in the Fish Biology Research Group in the Section for Marine Living Resources with about 35 staff members.

The position will be part of the research and innovation project: Improve technology and scale-up production of offspring for European eel aquaculture (ITS-EEL).The project is performed in collaboration with the Danish industry and international collaborators. Here, the main goal is to breed eels and establish a captive production of glass eels for a sustainable aquaculture of this critically endangered species. In this context, the PhD will conduct experimental studies related to the establishment of feeding larval culture. Studies focus on larval ontogeny in particular the digestive system, nutritional requirements and related gene expression.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project work is multidisciplinary and experimental, where practical tasks are performed as team work in collaboration with partners. The studies involve experimental research with focus on i) gene expression and activity of digestive enzymes, ii) diet composition and nutrient assimilation, as well as iii) histological and molecular ontogeny of the digestive system. The objectives are to assess the digestive potential, assimilation capacity and nutritional requirements of larvae based on different diets in relation to the ontogeny of the larval digestive system using a combination of advanced methodologies.

Experience within the following areas of fish biology will be an advantage:
  • experimental work on fish or aquatic organisms
  • fish breeding and culture of early life stages
  • nutritional physiology
  • molecular analyses
  • histology and electron microscopy

Candidates should have a master's degree in biology, aquatic science and technology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in biology.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Research Scientist Jonna Tomkiewicz, DTU Aqua, and Assistant Professor Ian A.E. Butts, Auburn University, USA, together with relevant project partners.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is three years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The workplace will be at the DTU main campus in Lyngby north of Copenhagen in Denmark, while experimental work will be conducted at a DTU field station in Hirtshals, Northern Jutland, Denmark.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Scientist Jonna Tomkiewicz, DTU Aqua, +45 3588 3408. General information may be obtained from Rikke Hansen,  +45 3588 3001.

Please do not send applications to these E-mail addresses, instead apply online as described below.

You can read more about DTU Aqua here.

Please submit your online application no later than 29 March 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • Letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic
background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Aqua conducts research, provides advice, educates at university level and contributes to innovation in sustainable exploitation and management of aquatic resources. We investigate the biology and population ecology of aquatic organisms, aquatic physical and chemical processes and ecosystem structure and dynamics, taking account of all relevant natural and anthropogenic drivers.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.