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PhD position in gut microbiota research/microbial evolutionary genomics

Project Description

Our laboratory works on social bees to address current questions about the evolution, function, and ecology of specialized gut microbial communities. We are looking for an outstanding and highly motivated candidate to join our research group. The broad scope of the project will be to understand which ecological and evolutionary processes govern the composition of gut microbial communities at the strain/genomic level. The doctoral student will use a combination of computational and experimental approaches to (i) study the evolution of the gut microbiota across a wide range host and/or (ii) test different ecological processes that govern community assembly and resilience. The applicant will have the opportunity to work with samples from diverse bee species collected from all over the world. A wide range of bioinformatics and experimental skills will be acquired during the PhD thesis providing an excellent training to the prospective student.

We are part of the Department of Fundamental Microbiology, a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary, and team-oriented scientific environment. Our group consists of a good mix of bioinformaticians and wet-lab biologists from all over the world, funded through the University of Lausanne, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Union (ERC-STG, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions). We are equipped with state-of-the art infrastructures enabling cutting-edge research with access to many core facilities located on campus (microscopy, proteomics, sequencing facilities). Our group has strong ties to other Departments within the University, such as the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and we also actively collaborate with other research teams within and outside of Switzerland. Last but not least, our Department is situated on a beautiful campus at the shore of Lake Geneva with a great view of the Alps and with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

For recent publications from the lab, please visit the lab webpage at

At least 80% of the working time will be dedicated to personal research. The remaining of the working time may be dedicated to teaching (organization and supervision of student practicals).

Your qualifications:
MSc. PhD position applicants should have a Master thesis in microbial genomics/ecology, bioinformatics, or microbiology. Prior research experience in large-scale sequence data analysis, evolutionary genomics, or microbiology wet-lab experimentation would be desirable. A good command of the English language, a high personal motivation to excel in science and a curious mind for addressing standing questions in microbiology, gut microbiota research, and bacterial genomics are required. We offer a stimulating environment in a young international research group combining computational (i.e. microbial genomics) and experimental approaches to study microbial communities and symbiosis. The focus of the project can be adapted to the interests of the applicant.

What the position offers you:
We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. Cutting-edge research facilities with many opportunities for professional training. Switzerland, and especially the region of the Lake of Geneva, offers a very high standard of living with fantastic opportunities for cultural and outdoor activities.

Contact for further information
Professor Philipp Engel
Phone number : 0041 21 692 5632

Please include your full application (motivation letter, CV, list of publications and the contact details of two referees in Word or PDF format). Only applications through the website of the University of Lausanne (see link below) will be taken into account.

Funding Notes

Fully funded position. Contract will be renewed after one year. A PhD at our University takes about four years.

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