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Department of Biology - Microbiology

Postdoc for studies of electron transport in cable bacteria

Deadline 15 Mar

Expected start 1 Jun

  • Department of Biology - Microbiology Ny Munkegade 116 8000 Aarhus C

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Jun 2021 - 31 May 2023 ID: 5349

The Center for Electromicrobiology, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoc position for studies of electron transport in cable bacteria.

The position is available with start from 1 June 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter (no later than October 2021).

Job description
The postdoc will engage in the question of how internal electric wires of cable bacteria conduct electrons and connect with metabolic processes. The exact focus and approaches will be flexible, depending on the background, ideas, and network of the applicant.

Your profile
Applicants are expected to have relevant experience with electromicrobiology or bioelectronics and a PhD within biophysics, bioelectrochemistry, chemistry, biochemistry, nanoscience or molecular biology. Applicants must have a strong interest to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and should envision in what direction they may contribute to the studies of electron transport in cable bacteria.

Cable bacteria are centimeter-long, multicellular filamentous bacteria that connect sulfide oxidation and oxygen reduction in distant ends of the filament via long-distance electron transport. While present evidence supports that the electric wires of cable bacteria are located in the periplasm and behave as Ohmic conductors, the molecular structures and physical mechanisms mediating the electron conduction are far from settled. What controls uploading of electrons from sulfide to the wires and downloading to oxygen is yet another field of interest and present genomic information points to conduits with unique electron carriers.

Due to the unique multi-cellular organization of cable bacteria with internal rather than external electron transport and the lack of any pure cultures, the investigation of electron transport in cable bacteria calls for substantial methodological innovation.

Who we are
The Center for Electromicrobiology, CEM (http://cem.au.dk), Aarhus University was established in 2017 as a Center of Excellence supported by the Danish National Research Foundation with an expected operation time of ten years. The aim of CEM is to establish a novel view on electron flow between living cells by addressing three overarching research questions: how are the electrons transported, how are they exploited by the cells, and how does the electron flow shape ecosystems? The centimeter-long cable bacteria with internal electron conductors connecting thousands of cells have the main role in CEM’s endeavors. The center applies a combination of microbiological, biogeochemical, molecular biological and electrochemical approaches, including state-of-the-art sequencing, microscale experiments, Cryo-EM, and computational biology.

Place of Work and Area of Employment
The position is based at the Faculty of Natural Science, Aarhus University, in an interdisciplinary setting including the Section for Microbiology, Department of Biology, the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, and The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, all situated in the city campus. These departments offer an international working environment with state-of-the-art facilities for molecular and ecological microbiology, next generation sequencing, electrochemistry, and electron microscopy.

Further information about the position may be obtained from
  • Lars Peter Nielsen, Professor, Head of CEM, Department of Biology, Section for Microbiology,  lpn@bio.au.dk, +4560202654
  • Andreas Schramm, Professor, Vice Head of CEM, Department of Biology, Section for Microbiology, andreas.schramm@bio.au.dk, +4560202659
  • Thomas Boesen, Facility Manager, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, thb@mbg.au.dk, +4528997699
Place of Work
The place of work is Ny Munkegade 116, 8000 Aarhus C,  and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 

Application deadline is 15 March 2021.

Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Questions about the position?

Lars Peter Nielsen

Lars Peter Nielsen Professor, head of center, Department of Biology - Microbiology lpn@bio.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?



Deadline: Monday 15 Mar 2021 at 23:59 CET