PhD student position in evolutionary microbiology

 CDD · Thèse  · 48 mois    Bac+5 / Master   Uppsala University, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology · Uppsala (Suède)

 Date de prise de poste : 1 août 2024


Evolution microbiology intracellular bacteria metagenomics phlygenomics


A PhD student position in evolutionary microbiology, with focus on the evolution of intracellular bacteria, is now available at Uppsala University, Sweden. The position is fully funded for four years. Start date: Summer/autumn 2024. Deadline to apply: 8 April 2024.

Please find all the details and instructions on how to apply at:

The Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology (IMBIM) at Uppsala University provides a broad international environment for research and teaching. Research at IMBIM) broadly spans the areas of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, tumour biology, comparative genetics, functional genomics, immunology, bacteriology, and virology. The research is essentially of fundamental nature, but with relevance and application in health and disease in both animals and humans. More info:

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to be involved in the project “A two-billion-years history of infections: evolution of host-adaptation in early Gammaproteobacteria”, funded by the Swedish Research Board. The project is led by Lionel Guy, and the PhD student will be located at the Biomedical Centre, Uppsala, Sweden.

Project description

The ability to feed on other organisms through phagocytosis is a crucial step in the evolution of eukaryotes, a prerequisite for food webs, multicellularity and, arguably, the acquisition of mitochondria. It also paved the way for intracellular parasitism, as some bacteria avoided digestion by their hosts and multiplied in the nutrient-rich cytoplasm.

Here, we focus on the Deep-branching Intracellular Gammaproteobacteria (DIG), a large group of related bacteria (e.g. Legionella and Francisella) with a wide variety of host-adaptation strategies. We hypothesize that the last common ancestor of DIG, appeared during eukaryogenesis, 2 Ga ago, and was among the first bacteria to infect eukaryotes.

In this project, the PhD student will gather a solid set of DIG genomes, reconstruct their evolutionary history, assess their metabolic potential, and identify their host-adaptation genes. They will screen genomes for horizontal gene transfers from early eukaryotes or Asgard archaea.

Through a better understanding of the relationships between the first eukaryotes and their early invaders, the gained results will shed light on eukaryogenesis, particularly the role of phagocytosis.


The main duties of PhD students are to devote themselves to their research studies, which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (not more than 20 % of full time).


To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must
- hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in bioinformatics, molecular biology, microbiology, microbial ecology or similar field, or
- have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
- have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.
- Documented coding skills in Python or R
- Experience in using and/or developing methods in metagenomics and molecular evolution
- Background understanding of, and interest in, microbial evolution
- Proficiency in spoken and written English;
- Ability to conceive, execute, and complete research projects independently
- Creativity and good group-working skills

Additional qualifications
- Experience in creating pipelines for use with high performance computing clusters
- Competence in large dataset handling

The requirements listed above need to be met before the employment starts, but not necessarily by the application deadline.



Procédure : Please find all the details and instructions on how to apply at:

Date limite : 8 avril 2024


Lionel Guy

Offre publiée le 7 mars 2024, affichage jusqu'au 8 avril 2024