Open position: postdoctoral fellowship on marine meiofaunal ecology and positive species interactions

We invite applications for a postdoctoral researcher to work with Dr Laura Carugati (UNICA) on meiofaunal ecology and positive species interactions. Find the link below to submit your application!

About the organisation:

The University of Cagliari (UNICA) is one of the largest organizations in Sardinia thanks to its international policies and numerous agreements with prestigious universities in Europe and around the world. The candidate will be primarily based at the Section of Marine Biology and Ecology, in Cagliari, a territorial seat of UNICA located near the coast and dedicated to the study of marine biodiversity. The candidate will work with researchers in marine ecology and molecular zoology with extensive experience on marine ecosystems.

About the project:

The postdoc will be supervised by Dr Laura Carugati and will be part of the zoology group at UNICA, working within the frame of the project ENGAGE ( funded by the Italian Ministry of Research PRIN call 2022 – grant n.20223R4FJK. Within ENGAGE Project, the postdoc will thus have the opportunity to collaborate with the project partners and wider network.

Increasing evidence suggests that positive interactions with invertebrates are vital to sustain seagrass ecosystems functioning and survival. Nonetheless, such species interactions received sparse attention in these systems. In this project, we will focus on two study systems: i) Posidonia oceanica and the sponge Chondrilla nucula and ii) Cymodocea nodosa and the lucinid bivalve Loripes orbiculatus. In each of these model associations, the project aims to assess whether the organisms alone vs the association can reduce levels of local/regional stressors, alone or in combination with global stressors, using in situ and mesocosm experiments. More in detail, at UNICA, we will assess how the effects of the association under the different combinations of local and global stressors will propagate to the benthic community. To do this we will analyze meiofauna in terms of biodiversity and taxonomic composition, as well as sedimentary organic matter quantity and quality.

Your qualifications:

The candidate should have MSc degree in Biology, Natural Sciences or equivalent. A PhD degree in Biology, Zoology, Ecology, or an equivalent degree is an asset, but not mandatory. The candidate should have strong motivation and scientific independence, ideally with previous experience of laboratory techniques and analysis in marine benthic zoology and ecology. The willingness and capacity to interact in a multidisciplinary team are essential. The candidate should be fluent in spoken and written English.

What we offer:

The position is offered for 12 months, renewable. The salary will be in accordance with the so-called Assegno di Ricerca for a gross total over the one-year period of €19,367.00 (subject to social security contributions).

At UNICA we strive for gender and diversity equality and we encourage and welcome applications from all backgrounds. Candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications and ability to fulfill the responsibilities as outlined for this project.

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link:

Please carefully read the excerpt from the announcement, translated in English, provided at this link:

The application deadline is June 27, 2024. Evaluations are planned shortly thereafter, and interviews will be conducted from remote. We seek to initiate the position by September 2024.

Additional information:

Please contact Dr Laura Carugati (Email: for any informal enquiry.