PhD Fellow in Marine Microbiology at Uni of Copenhagen in Denmark 2021

The University of Copenhagen is offering a 3-year PhD position in marine microbial ecology in the 2021/22 academic session

Project details

The position starts 1. April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter and will be associated with the 4-year research project “Future stimulated nitrogen fixation: threatening the health of coastal ecosystems?” funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project is a collaboration with scientists from University of Southern Denmark (Carolin Löscher), Aarhus University in Roskilde (Stiig Markager), the Baltic Sea research Institute, Warnemunde, Germany (Maren Voss), and Boston University, Rhode Island, USA (RW Fulweiler).


The import of nitrogen (N) through biological N2-fixation is essential for plankton productivity in vast areas of the global ocean. In fact, this conversion of N2 gas to ammonium available for growth is fuelling up to 50% of the new production in some regions. N2-fixation in Danish coastal waters has been largely overlooked and climate change is predicted to stimulate this activity. Important N2-fixing organisms likely include cyanobacteria advected from the Baltic Sea and heterotrophic bacteria. The aim of the overarching project is to determine the importance of benthic and pelagic N2-fixation in Danish marine regions, in the face of climate change.

Two PhD students will be employed within the project: one at University of Copenhagen (UCPH) focusing on pelagic processes, and one at the University of Southern Denmark focusing on benthic processes. The two students will collaborate closely with respect to sampling and sample analyses. The UCPH PhD student will focus on the magnitude and seasonality of N2-fixation in Danish coastal waters, molecular identification of the actively N2-fixing groups, and identification of the environmental conditions governing their fixation. The work will entail cutting-edge molecular, physiological, and biogeochemical approaches (Real-Time PCR, high-throughput sequencing, metagenomics, bioinformatics, and 15N tracer techniques, including nano-SIMS) in association with laboratory studies and field sampling.

The successful candidate will become an integrated part of the research group of Lasse Riemann. The group works with many aspects of marine microbial ecology, but N2-fixation is a main research focus. The project will be carried out in the Marine Biological Section located in Helsingør, 30 km north of Copenhagen.

Principal supervisor is Professor Lasse Riemann, Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, E-mail [email protected]

Worth of Award

  • PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).
  • The salary range starts at DKK  27.593,77 per month + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme.
  • The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3 year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching.


  • They are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious candidate with a MSc degree in biology/microbiology/molecular biology obtained by March 31, 2021.
  • The position is open to both Danish and international applicants.
  • Experience with marine microbial ecology and molecular biology is an asset.
  • Good English language skills will be required.
  • The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant; i.e. publications will be a strong asset.

How to Apply

The application must contain:

•    A letter of motivation for the application with statement of research interests (max 1 page)

•    A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)

•    List of publications (if applicable)

•    Copy of Bachelor and Masters Diplomas and transcripts – other relevant certificates, including grades

•    A short abstract of the M.Sc. thesis or equivalent

•    1-3 reference letters (if any)

Please forward your application via the job portal of The University of Copenhagen at Job Portal.

Deadline: The deadline for applications is February 2, 2021, 23:59 GMT+1. 

Click here for more details and to apply