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  Characterization of the species and functional diversity of mangrove sediment fungi and other microbes

   Biological Sciences

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  Assoc Prof Ying Chang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Mangroves are one of the most carbon-rich ecosystems and are the major coastal blue carbon sinks. The conservation and reforestation of mangroves have been identified as promising nature-based solutions to climate change. Thus far much of the research and conservation efforts have been focused on the main primary producers, the mangrove trees. In contrast, the sediment microbes, as the major players in SOM decomposition and nutrient cycling in the sediment, have been understudied. Fungi, in particular, remain largely untouched. This project aims to characterize the species diversity of mangrove sediment fungi and other microbes, taking an approach combining metabarcoding and metagenomic sequencing techniques. We will further examine the metabolic potentials of the sediment microbial communities at different depths, and study how the microbial communities are impacted by various biotic and abiotic environmental factors. This project will be one of the first studies on the exploration of the fungal species and functional diversity in mangrove sediment and will provide critical information in improving our understanding of the nutrient cycles in the mangrove sediments.

All applicants must possess at least four years of undergraduate study or three years of undergraduate study with a Masters degree. We consider an applicant's Grade Point Average (GPA) an important factor in assessing their suitability.

All PhD applicants for August 2023 intake and onwards must submit GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores.


The minimum score for GRE (General Test) should be Verbal and Quantitative Abilities: total score of 320, Analytical Writing: 3.5.

As the medium of instruction at NUS is in English, applicants whose native tongue or medium of undergraduate instruction is not English, should submit TOEFL/IELTS (Academic Test) scores as evidence of their proficiency in the English Language. The minimum TOEFL score is 580 (Paper-based Test), 260 (Computer-based Test) and 85 (Internet-based Test). The minimum IELTS score is 6.

Although you could feel free to discuss potential projects with individual professors in our Department, your application will only be evaluated by the Graduate Committee in the Department. Only when you are recruited by the Department, you will have a chance to rotate in different labs and eventually choose your supervisors.

The e-application is available now. You may visit the following websites for further information on the protocols and dates for submission of your application package; as well as the downloadable Application Form for Research Programmes (

The January 2024 registration has already closed. The next intake is for August 2024.

Please submit the required documents (transcript, GRE & TOEFL) via online before 15 November 2023.

Kindly prepare the following documents/items to upload in the application system:

  1. A original/certified copy of Bachelor's/Master’s transcript in English translation
  2. A original/certified copy of Bachelor's/Master’s degree scroll in English translation
  3. A certified copy of TOEFL or IELTS scoresheet (non-English medium only) *TOEFL/IELTS score reports are only valid for two years after the test and the validity period should not expire before the beginning of the application period for the relevant intake for which you are applying.
  4. A certified copy of GRE
  5. Recommendations from two (2) academic referees are to be submitted via the online admission system.
  6. Curriculum vitae (including co-curricular activities, community service, etc.)
  7. Personal statement about broad research interests, previous research accomplishments, and personal vision of future career (2 pages).
  8. Copy of Financial Statement/ Sponsorship (if you have opted self-finance for your source of finance))
  9. Copy of your NRIC/passport
  10. A softcopy of your passport size photo

Information on scholarships and financial aid is available at:

Go to 'Staffs', then ‘Faculty by Research” and you will be able to see the research areas of our academic staff.

Tuition Fee:

Department Code for GRE:

Biological Sciences (4)
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 About the Project