Postdoc position “The role of N2 fixing cyanobacteria in past marine biogeochemical cycles”.

The Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) located at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), is looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with a background in organic (bio)geochemistry and a keen interest in paleoclimate, biomarker lipids and analytical techniques. The position is offered for three years.

2020-12-17 14:29:56

LOCATION:                    NIOZ TEXEL

VACANCY NR.:              2020- 84

CLOSING DATE:            February 5th, 2021.



The NIOZ Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) studies microbial communities in all types of marine environments, from estuaries to the deep ocean. Using field and experimental approaches, we study the diversity, physiology and activity of eukaryotic phytoplankton (algae), prokaryotes (cyanobacteria, archaea and bacteria) and viruses in diverse marine environmental settings. We do so by a variety of analytical chemical, biochemical and modern genomic techniques. We use the lipids produced by micro-organisms to reconstruct environmental and climate parameters in the geological past, such as marine productivity and sea surface temperature. This is relevant for understanding the impact of mankind on our future oceans and climate.

The department is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, bioinformatics resources and analytical equipment, and has an excellent level of technical support.

The research is part of the Netherlands Earth System Science Center (NESSC), a virtual research centre comprising experts from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Utrecht University, VU University Amsterdam and Wageningen University. NESSC brings scientists together with a background in physics, earth sciences, ecology and mathematics, in order to better understand the processes behind climate change and to improve future climate projections and predictions.



Marine nitrogen fixation is closely linked to productivity and hence to global climate dynamics. Despite this, and despite extensive study of the modern-day N2 fixing cyanobacteria, a thorough understanding of their contribution to paleo marine systems is still lacking. In order to better constrain the role in N2 fixing cyanobacteria played in past biogeochemical cycles, we prose to study their presence in sedimentary records using organic biomarkers. The project will utilize high-resolution analytical approaches, including Orbitrap accurate mass LC-MS, to identify and quantify biomarkers. The project is in collaboration with the University of Utrecht.



We are looking for highly motivated postdoctoral researchers with a PhD and background in organic (bio)geochemistry willing to learn and apply cross-disciplinary approaches and work in a highly collaborative environment. Experience in the use of organic geochemical techniques such as UHPLC and GC in combination with (high resolution and/or isotope ratio) mass spectrometry, is required. Furthermore, the optimal candidate has a keen interest in developing new proxies and paleoclimate research, is a good team player and highly motivated to pursue new avenues of research. Due to the international character of our research, good command of English, spoken as well as written, is a prerequisite. We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse background, including LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.



Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a fulltime position for 3 years (fulltime). The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes) scal 10 or 11 depending on your education and experience,  a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8,3% of the gross annual salary, flexible work arrangements and 42 of holliday leave (fulltime position).

You may expect attractive secondary employment conditions. We offer generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support with finding accommodation.



For additional information about the vacancy please contact Dr. Nicole Bale 

For additional information about the procedure please contact Valentijn Tiemensma 

For more information about the Departement of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) at NIOZ, see here

Interview will be held online (Microsoft Teams) from February 2021 until position is filled.


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