Open PhD position @Movie

We are looking for motivated and hard-working PhD students

Research project:  The role of enzyme promiscuity on organic phosphorus cycling

Your Profile

  • Strong interest in marine science in general and microbial oceanography in particular, particularly strong background and experience in marine microbiology
  • Expertise in molecular and proteomic techniques is an advantage
  • Experience in working and characterising pure enzymes is desirable
  • Publications of scientific paper/s in this topic/field are an asset
  • Good statistical skills and fluency in English

Your Tasks

  • Focus on the biochemical characterisation of key marine alkaline phosphatases by performing laboratory work with pure recombinant proteins, and also in cultures of bacteria (Alteromona Mediterranea).
  • Application of lab biochemical and microbiological techniques as well as proteomic and bioinformatic analyses
  • Participation in research cruises in the open ocean for up to one month
  • Interpretation of results, publications of journal articles and presentations at science conferences


Phosphorus (P) is fundamental for life. The most prominent marine enzyme for recycling organophosphates is alkaline phosphatases (APase). Purified APases are a good model to study the nature of these enzymes regarding substrate specificity and environmental response. We recently purified one APases (PhoA) isolated from an ubiquitous marine bacteria (Alteromonas) and revealed a new multifunctional trait.

This PhD will focus on other types of APases and its relationship regarding phosphate availability and signal pathways. Real time enzymatics combined with proteomics will characterize and quantify the targeted enzymes. Additionally, we will study enzymatic and proteomic data from a transect we recently did collecting samples through the Atlantic Ocean. On the same cruise we participated in degradation experiments of synthetic organophosphates by natural communities. This PhD will provide fundamental knowledge on the role of microbes in the marine biogeochemical cycles.

More information:

Apply@VDSEE --> choose Position "#3: Ass.-Prof. Federico Baltar"