Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Project description
Microeukaryotes are the 'dark-matter' of life: the explosive diversification of complex, symbiotic, and still unculturable cells has generated a wealth of unknown genes, proteins, and organisms that strongly impact our planet and societies. SINGEK is a H2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN) project aimed at providing a unique and structured training programme to 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to study microeukaryotes at the single-cell level. ESRs will be exposed to a varied array of laboratory methods (cell sorting and molecular tools for nucleic acid amplification and high throughput sequencing), bioinformatic techniques (genome and transcriptome assembly and functional gene annotations) and scientific questions related to the fields of microbial ecology and evolution in order to investigate microeukaryotes in unparalleled detail. The training structure is a central part of the SINGEK project and will include: local and network-wide activities, secondments to other institutions. Below follows the description of the specific project at Lund University.

Next-Generation microbial population genetics using single-cell genomics

The objective of this project is to develop a method based on single-cell genomics to study population genetics and genetic structure of phytoplankton. Specifically, the focus will be on genomic variation in Gonyostomum semen (raphidophyceae), a harmful invasive microalga. Populations of Gonyostomum have expanded invasively across N. Europe, but populations in N. America are less invasive and display less disruptive phenotypes despite similar environments. A population genomic approach can be used to explore the detailed dispersal patterns, and to understand the genetic basis of the differentiation among populations. By using single-cell genome amplification, the effort and bias of algal culturing is circumvented. The PhD student’s project will include developing, testing, and optimizing a single-cell population genomic method, and performing population genomic analyses. Gonyostomum cells will be sampled across Europe and in N. America. A second part of the project will involve a comparison of marine and freshwater raphidophytes, to explore how the different habitats affect population differentiation. The PhD project will also include designing field sampling, culturing of microalgae, analysis of high throughput sequencing data, and scientific writing.

Required qualifications

The successful candidate is required to hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in biology with a specialization on evolution and ecology. The candidate should have good knowledge and practical experience of laboratory work, especially molecular techniques. A basic understanding of aquatic ecosystems and microbial ecology are desired qualifications, and experience of work with microalgal cultures, DNA sequence analysis and programming (within bioinformatics) are an additional merit. It is a requirement that the candidate should be able to read and write academic texts, as well as communicate well orally, in English on a daily basis. Important personal qualities are to be creative, good at problem-solving, a team-worker, independent, resilient, and structured. At times the studies will require long workdays during field sampling, as well as trips with overnight stays within and outside Sweden. A driver’s license is required.

The application should include a curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic letters, a personal letter stating your interest for the project and doctoral studies as well as any relevant experience for the project, contact information (phone, email) and recommendation letters of two personal references. Applicants that apply to more than one position (maximum 3) within SINGEK should include a list of priority. Relevant publications, including accepted academic papers or research thesis can also be enclosed. Important, please note that the application forms must also be submitted to SINGEK on

As this position is financed within a Marie Curie ITN program, EU restrictions regarding mobility apply. At the time of the relevant deadline for submission of applications, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in Sweden for more than 12 months during the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. The Ph.D. applicants should have less than 4 years of research experience. Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2016-10-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/707
  • Karin Rengefors, professor, + 46462228427,
Union representative
  • OFR/S:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds , 046-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66,
Published 19.Feb.2016
Last application date 29.Apr.2016 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies