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Soil microbial ecology

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Saturday, 1 July 2017
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
On-campus or via distance?
Microbiology and Immunology
Dr Sergio Morales


Qualified candidates are invited to apply to pursue a PhD project in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. This research project will be part of a fully-funded international collaboration aimed at Mitigating Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions by improved pH management of soils. The goal of this project is to investigate the microbial response to management practices that manipulate the production and consumption of N2O in soils. The PhD student will use molecular tools (targeting DNA and RNA) to investigate the soil microbiome (metagenomics, transcriptomics, and amplicon sequencing) in field and lab experiments.

The successful candidate will be hosted by the Morales lab, and will join a dynamic team of international researchers from Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, France, and New Zealand with an extensive network of collaborators.


Candidates should have a degree which includes a graded thesis component demonstrating his/her research ability. Published, peer-reviewed papers are desirable but not essential. All applicants will be required to apply for an Otago scholarship to cover tuition and stipends (not controlled by PI see here for details:, Candidates should be willing to work in multidisciplinary research teams, show leadership and independence, and must have strong English written and oral skills. Experience in generation and analysis of next-generation sequencing data, strong computer skills and/or proficiency in R or Python are ideal.


The position will begin August 2017 at the earliest.

Application information

With each application you must include:

  • CV
  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts
  • A copy of your honours or master's thesis
  • Two potential references (including contact details)


Dr Sergio E. Morales
Tel   64 3 479 3140