The Microbial Ecology Group at ISE Verbania - Open positions
Microbes are the most diverse and abundant organisms on Earth. Their role is fundamental for a number of important ecosystem functions, including carbon degradation, nutrient cycling and trace gas flux. Thanks to their peculiar features like high reproductive rates, large population densities, and adaptability to environmental stressors, they are ideal model organisms to study and implement the general ecological theory, and thus to understand nature.
At the MEG in Verbania we study a number of different topics related to the role of microbes mainly in waters, but also in other environments. We carry out researches in the field (in Europe, Patagonia, Mexico, Antarctica, Azores, Tahiti, China, Black Sea, and Himalaya Mountains), but we also work on epidemiological studies on humans and animals, and we develop experimental model systems in our labs. A number of national and international cooperations are active within the MEG ans other institutes in order to promote mobility of students and scientists and perform shared researches.
The MEG's main goal is to merge common knowledge and activities within the different groups of the CNR dealing with microbial ecology, in order to develop in a "diffuse" lab all over Italy. CNR-MEG twin labs are already established in Venice (supervision Dr. Gian Marco Luna) and Rome (supervision Dr. Stefano Amalfitano).
Open positions (Masters, PhDs, Postdocs)
1year post-doc for an environmental engineer in "Treatment and disinfection of wastewaters by advanced oxidation processes "
Deadline for the submission of your application: 26th of September 2016 (net salary about 19300 €/y)
Currently there are no other open positions at the MEG. In late Autumn 2016 one or two new Master Projects and 1 new post-doc position will open.
Running Master Projects in Microbial Ecology and in Water Microbiology
Thesis Project 1 – The co-selection of heavy metal and antibiotic resistant genes in a large freshwater lake (end July 2016)
Rationale: Various antibiotic resistance genes can be found in high frequency in Lake Maggiore and similar aquatic habitats. Such lakes are thus considered a reservoir for resistance genes that can spread back to the clinical sphere. It is still unclear which mechanisms help to maintain these resistances but potentially they might be co-selected with heavy metal resistant genes. This thesis intends to monitor both types of resistant genes and other parameters in Lake Maggiore.
Methods: PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, cultivation of bacteria, DNA extraction, flow-cytometry, microscopy
Thesis Project 2 – Attachment of antibiotic resistant bacteria to zooplankton species (end April 2017)
Rationale: Pathogens have a selective advantage when attaching to surfaces. Here we test whether zooplankton species, as rotifers, provide such a surface for antibiotic resistant bacteria to which they attach and thereby hitchhike within the lake from point contaminations to further away areas.
Methods: Cultivation of bacteria and zooplankton, experiments, microscopy, PCR methods, flow cytometry
Our institute is located in Verbania, which is in Italy lose to the Swiss border. Our group communicates in English, Italian and German (but it is enough if you can speak English). We are flexible considering Master starting dates. There is the possibility to be hosted in our student house (shared kitchen and bathroom). Moreover, you can stay affiliated with your home university since we are a research institute.