2 PhD Scholarships, Enviromental Genomics - Constance, Germany

PhD Scholarships in Enviromental Genomics are available via the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme at the University of Konstanz, Germany.


This is a call for applications for PhD scholarships integrated in the Research Training Group R3.

The Research Training Group R3 - Resilience of Lake Ecosystems, at the University of Konstanz, Germany, studies the response of aquatic ecosystems, and their resilience and reversibility to changing abiotic and biotic conditions, using Lake Constance as model system.

Lake Constance, one of the best-studied lakes in the world, is perfectly suited for this, as the lake has been affected by a multitude of environmental stressors (e.g. eutrophication, climate change, neobiota) within the last century.

Eutrophication, the stressor of main concern during the 1960s to 1980s, has been removed successfully, but its immediate and long-term consequences for the ecosystem, as well as the mechanisms inducing changes, are not well understood.

Within the Research Training Group R3, a diverse group of doctoral researchers is investigating the response of community structure, biological interactions and carbon and nutrient flows to changing conditions in Lake Constance. More information can be found at https://www.rtg-resilience.uni-konstanz.de

Research topics

PhD scholarships funded by the DAAD are available for the following two research topics:

1) Spatiotemporal patterns of resilience and reversibility in relation to functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity in plankton populations This study will investigate changes in functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity in relation to trophic changes through time and at different sites, using environmental DNA extracted from sediment cores spanning the last century. DNA will be extracted from sediment cores, amplified with specific assays and amplicons sequenced using high-throughput technology. By targeting highly variable markers, different species or genotypes of key plankton species can be tracked and their response to abiotic changes, as well as community turnovers, can be analyzed.

For more information on this project contact Prof. Dr. Laura Epp, Junior Professor for Environmental Genomics in Aquatic Systems.

2) Relative role of viruses for phytoplankton control This project will test the relative role of aquatic viruses and zooplankton for controlling phytoplankton changes under different nutrient regimes and whether and how evolutionary changes modify coexistence and responses to shifts in the nutrient level. Using microcosm experiments in combination with modelling, we aim to study the importance of rapid evolutionary changes and eco-evolutionary dynamics for the resilience of consumer-resource systems to eutrophication as well as the consequences for the reversibility of the system during re-oligotrophication.

For more information on this project contact Prof. Dr. Lutz Becks, Professor for Limnology-Aquatic Ecology and Evolution.


International applications are invited to join the Research Training Group R3.

Applications close 30 November 2018.

For the first step of the application process, please send the following documents as single PDF file to Dr. Tina Romer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., coordinator of the Research Training Group R3.

You must include:

- a one-page exposé of a potential PhD project fitting one of the two research topics.
- a curriculum vitae
- a motivation letter detailing how you will fit into the Research Training Group R3
- list of publications, if applicable
- certificates of education
- two letters of recommendation from faculty members of your home university

Please use the forms found under: https://www.daad.de/medien/deutschland/stipendien/formulare/recommendation.pdf or https://www.daad.de/medien/deutschland/stipendien/formulare/recommendation.doc

Further information

Details on the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme, the application procedure and eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.daad.de/hochschulen/programme-weltweit/promotionsprogramme/gssp/en/23570-graduate-school-scholarship-programme/ and https://www.daad.de/medien/hochschulen/ww/pprogramme/gssp/gssp_2019_guideline_applicants.pdf

Informal questions can be sent to Dr. Tina Romer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.