Seeking outstanding candidates for PhD project on alien species and microbiomes

We invite applications for a PhD student to work with Dr Ulisse Cardini, Prof Harald Gruber-Vodicka and Prof Marco Bartoli on the project “Mya arenaria in tidal flats: the role of the Holobiont in an ancient European invader (MarsH)”. Find the link below to submit your application!

About the organisation:

The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN) – National Institute of Marine Biology, Ecology and Biotechnology is an internationally renowned center for marine research with headquarters located in Napoli, Italy. You will be primarily based at the Genoa Marine Center (GMC), a territorial seat of the SZN located in the coastal city of Genoa and dedicated to the study of marine biodiversity and the identification of viable solutions for its conservation. The GMC provides a vibrant international and interdisciplinary environment for conducting marine research, located in the heart of one of Italy’s most underrated gems, and embedded in an environment known worldwide for its breadth of marine research.

About the project:

A major focus of the research group is on quantifying biological productivity and nutrient transformations in marine systems, particularly in benthic associations between primary producers, invertebrates and microbes, using techniques ranging from dissolved gas measurements to mesocosm experiments and bottle incubations with stable isotope tracing.

This PhD project focuses on understanding the contribution of microbiomes to the success of alien species in non-native environments, with a specific focus on the soft-shell clam Mya arenaria as a model organism.

The project is based at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Genova, Italy, under my direct supervision as Director of Studies. We are searching for exceptional candidates with a keen interest in microbiome research and biogeochemistry, strong research capabilities, and availability for long research stays in Parma, Italy, and Kiel, Germany. These stays will provide valuable exposure to different research environments and methodologies, working closely with external supervisors Prof. Marco Bartoli and Prof. Harald Gruber-Vodicka, respectively.

The selected candidate will contribute to answering crucial questions regarding the taxonomic and functional diversity of the M. arenaria microbiome across different regions, the patterns of adaptive evolution of both host and microbes, and the biogeochemical impact of the M. arenaria holobiont in the Po River delta.

Your qualifications:

You should have a Master degree in Marine Sciences, Biogeochemistry or an equivalent degree. An interest in (geo)microbiology and microbial symbioses, and the willingness and capacity to interact in a multidisciplinary team, are essential. You should be fluent in spoken and written English and have experience in scientific writing. Click here for a list of Info and Admission requirements.

What we offer and how to apply:

All info are provided at this Link and in the document Info and Admission requirements.

To apply, follow the guidelines provided in the document “How to Apply”.

At the same Link provided above you will find an abstract of the project.

The closing date for applications is June 21st 2023 h. 12.00.

Interested candidates can always contact me directly at ulisse.cardini(at) for any informal enquiry.