PhD Scholarship in Microbial Ecology And Fluid Dynamics

DTU Aqua
torsdag 14 sep 17

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Frist 15. oktober 2017
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We are seeking a PhD student for a three-year PhD scholarship for a project at the interface between aquatic ecology and fluid physics at the Department of Physics (DTU Physics) and the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) at the Technical University of Denmark.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project on “The physics of microbial feeding: mechanisms and trade-offs” aims at elucidating mechanisms of prey encounter and capture in aquatic micro-swimmers (flagellates) and to estimate the trade-offs associated with feeding and swimming. The idea is to combine experimental and modelling approaches to assess efficiency, energy expenditure, and predation risk associated with the principal feeding and motility modes of organisms with diverse flagellar arrangements, ranging from choanoflagellates and other flagellates with a single flagellum, to organisms with 2, 4, 8, and many flagella. We will use a combination of direct observations with high-speed video-micrography, novel flow-visualisation techniques, and novel holographic tracking to quantify encounter rates, as well as fluid dynamical modelling to understand the underlying physics.

The four-year project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research and you can read more about the project here. The successful candidate will work in a dynamic group of physicists and biologists with interest in organismal fluid dynamics. The group is part of the vibrant, cross-disciplinary, and international research environment at the Centre for Ocean Life that is a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence. The centre is a collaborative effort to develop a fundamental understanding and predictive capability of marine ecosystems through the use of trait-based approaches.

We envisage a biologist or a physicist with interest in aquatic ecology and preferably with experience in experimentation with live plankton and/or in performing fluid dynamical experiments and/or in modelling.
Candidates should hold a MSc degree in physics, biology, engineering, or applied mathematics.

Approval and enrolment
PhD scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidate 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 PhD studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Salary and terms of employment
The salary and appointment terms for the PhD student are consistent with the current rules for PhD students, and the period of employment for the PhD student is 3 years.

The successful candidate is expected to start 1 January 2018 or soonest thereafter.

Further information
For further information about the position and the research project please contact Professor Thomas Kiørboe (DTU Aqua, e-mail: or Associate Professor Anders Andersen (DTU Physics, e-mail:

Please do NOT send applications to the above e-mail addresses and follow the electronic application and submission procedure as explained below.

You can read more about the Centre for Ocean Life at: Centre for Ocean Life, the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at: DTU Aqua, and the Department of Physics at: DTU Physics.

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 15 October 2017.

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.

Further you must attach the following documents:
  • A 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
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A publication list

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their MSc degree, but they cannot begin their scholarship before having received their MSc degree.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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.