PhD student position for a Microbiologist in Germany

 PhD student position for a Microbiologist (MSc or equivalent), DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine

The Department of Radiation Biology in the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Köln-Porz is offering a

PhD student position for a Microbiologist (MSc or equivalent).

The position will be funded by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF) through the Research Alliance ‘Planetary Evolution and Life’. The Alliance is led and managed by the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V.), in Berlin.

The position will be available from April 1, 2008. The PhD position in the newly established Research Alliance refers to the topic ‘Physics and Biology of Interfacial Water’. Studies on the molecular and cellular effects of ionizing radiation, of desiccation, of radiation protection by shielding materials like Mars analogue materials and on the adaptability of extremophiles to hostile environmental conditions are the basis for the planned investigation of the capability of terrestrial model microorganisms to survive in a considerably different environment like the surface and subsurface of Mars. Special emphasis will be laid on the availability and the degree of utilization of interfacial water in connection with different mineral phases.

We are looking for an innovative personality with experience in classically microbial methods and molecular tools for qualifying and quantifying microorganisms / communities in pure cultures and soil samples. Furthermore, she/he should be interested in the biochemistry of microorganisms and their mineral-biotic interactions in extreme environments. This work is to be performed at DLR in Köln-Porz in close cooperation with several colleagues in Germany (Berlin, Cologne, and Duisburg). Proficiency in writing/spoken English is mandatory. PhD students will be requested to communicate with leading scientists and related groups world wide as a part of the job.

To apply for the position, please send a letter of motivation along with a CV and two academic references to

Dr. Petra Rettberg (DLR, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Division, Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln, Germany, [email protected]).

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