PhD candidate in marine microbiology


Ocean life contributes ~50% to global primary production and understanding implications of global change for the microbial primary producers at the base of the food web is critically important to predict consequences for global carbon cycling. While the photosynthetic microbes collectively referred to as phytoplankton, are traditionally regarded as purely photosynthetic, many of them can also feed on other microbes. These so-called mixotrophs thus combine a ‘plant-like’ with an ‘animal-like’ nutrition, and the relative importance of these two processes to their growth may shift in response to environmental conditions and affect the net impact of mixotrophs on carbon cycling. This project will assess the responses of mixotrophs to future ocean conditions including warming and ocean acidification.

In this project you will perform experiments with cultured marine mixotrophs that differ in their nutritional strategies and assess their response to ocean warming and acidification. Experiments will quantify changes in rates of growth, photosynthesis and ingestion, and characterize transcriptional responses that underly physiological reactions. The ecological consequences of physiological responses to future ocean conditions will be assessed in competition experiments. While this project is mainly focused on laboratory experiments, you will also have the opportunity to participate in oceanographic research cruises.

What are you going to do?

  • Perform controlled laboratory experiments (with microalgal cultures);
  • participate in fieldwork (research cruises);
  • analyze data from laboratory and field experiments;
  • publish your results in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • present your research at conferences and meetings;
  • write a thesis;
  • take part in teaching efforts, including assisting in practical courses and supervision of bachelor and master students;
  • follow an educational training;
  • collaborate with other scientists from the University of Amsterdam.


  • Experience with microalgal cultures;
  • experience with relevant laboratory techniques (eg. flow cytometry, microscopy, chemostat cultures etc.), ideally including molecular techniques, (eg. transcriptomics/genomics);
  • knowledge of Marine Microbiology;
  • excellent organizational skills;
  • ability to work both independently and in a team;
  • fluency in oral and written English.

Bioinformatics and computational skills are a plus.


Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The salary will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Science – Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic (soil and water quality) and biotic factors (ecology and evolution of plants, animals, and microorganisms), and the interplay between those. The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale.

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