Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Dissecting primary production in dark environments

   Department of Microbiology

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Francesco Ricci  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Dissecting primary production in dark environments


We are advertising a competitive funded PhD project in the Greening Lab at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. The project will use cutting edge technologies to investigate primary production in the absence of light across various systems. The student will work alongside a growing and vibrant group of researchers with ties to international research groups, providing ample opportunity for collaboration and innovation. The successful student will be supervised by Dr Francesco Ricci in collaboration with Professor Chris Greening.

Background and aims

Chemosynthesis is a primary production process fuelled by inorganic energy sources independent of light. However, the extent of this process in supporting life in the absence of sunlight across environments and host-microbiome systems that are persistently dark or experience light/dark cyclic phases remains under-characterised. To understand this hiatus in our knowledge, the successful student will use genomic analysis (e.g. DNA and RNA extraction), biogeochemistry analysis (e.g. enzymatic assays) and bioinformatics (e.g. bash and R-project) on datasets from one or more systems including Antarctica, aquatic caves, underwater wrecks or deep-sea corals to unravel microbial metabolism and chemosynthesis rates in the absence of light. This project has the potential to reshape our understanding of primary production through chemosynthesis, a frequently underrated metabolism.


- First class Honours or Master’s equivalent

- Experience in relevant fields including microbiology, ecology, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, computational biology, etc

- Previous laboratory and/or computational research experience desired

- Students with first-author papers in Q1 journals are likely to be especially competitive

- IELTS score of 6.5 average or above in all four categories or equivalent

Greening Lab’s profile can be viewed here:

Monash University PhD admission criteria and application process can be found here:

Please send EOI to [Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4)
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

 About the Project