Research Fellow in Microbial Genomics

University of Aberdeen - School of Biological Sciences

We seek a highly motivated and interactive Microbial Genomicist to take a leading role in a Natural Environment Research Council-funded project entitled “Evolution of thaumarchaeotal metabolism under contrasting oxygen conditions”. The project is funded for 42 months and also includes a full-time Research Technician support.

The Research Fellow will be based in the research group of Dr Cécile Gubry-Rangin at the University of Aberdeen, and will also work in collaboration with Dr Tom Williams and his group (University of Bristol). Together, these groups have acknowledged expertise in microbial and evolutionary ecology, microbial genomics, experimental microbiology and ancestral phylogenomic reconstructions.

The central aim of this project is to elucidate the physiological and evolutionary mechanisms by which the oxidative metabolisms of modern Thaumarchaeota evolved from their anaerobic ancestors. Since their discovery a decade ago, all Thaumarchaeota were thought to be capable of ammonia oxidation, providing no evolutionary intermediates that might reveal how their metabolisms were assembled during archaeal evolution. Excitingly, this is no longer the case as early-diverging, non-ammonia oxidising Thaumarchaeota have been recently discovered.

This project will employ cutting-edge genomics methodologies to obtain novel genomes of non-ammonia oxidising Thaumarchaeota and these data will be integrated to already existing genomes to test several hypotheses regarding the physiological mechanisms, the evolutionary timescale and the environmental selective pressures associated with evolution of oxidative metabolism and ammonia oxidation.

Overall, the post will provide an exciting opportunity for a highly-motivated researcher with skills in microbial genomics analysis and metabolic pathways reconstruction, and interest in linking genomic prediction with experimental cultivation and environmental microbial ecology. You will be responsible for the planning, design, and execution of the research programme and will ideally have expertise in genomics assembly and annotation and an interest in evolutionary concepts and theory. You will be supported by a Research technician in the laboratory for microbial cultivation and soil molecular ecology. The post also provides ample opportunities for further high-level scientific training, publication and career advancement. The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic team-worker and collaborative scientist, with interests in linking genomics-based and experimental advances.

Salary will be at the appropriate point on the Grade 6 salary scale (£32,548 per annum) Consideration will be given to making an appointment at Research Assistant level in the first instance (Salary range (£27,285 - £30,688 per annum) for individuals in the final stages of completing their PhD.

Should you wish to make an informal enquiry please contact Dr Cecile Gubry-Rangin (e-mail: c.rangin@abdn.ac.uk).

Should you require a visa to undertake paid employment in the UK you will be required to fulfil the minimum points criteria to be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship and Tier 2 visa.  As appropriate, at the time an offer of appointment is made you will be asked to demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria in respect of financial maintenance and competency in English. Please do not hesitate to contact Marian Elliott-Jones, m.elliott-jones@abdn.ac.uk] for further information.

To apply online for this position visit www.abdn.ac.uk/jobs

Job Reference Number: SBS028R

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 25 October 2017

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