PhD Position in Biology – Lund University | March 2024

Biology is the general study of all living organisms. It includes everything from global processes at the level of ecosystems to molecular and cellular activities. There are several sub-disciplines and specializations within the field. Many of these specializations, from molecular biology to applied ecology, from viruses and single cells to evolutionary biology and global biodiversity, are covered in the PhD curriculum in the Department of Biology. Undertaking research projects at the Department of Biology often entails concentrating on a certain area within the field’s study emphasis. This topic may be studied through fieldwork, experiments, theoretical work, or a mix of these.

Project Details

Doctorate students’ primary responsibilities are to focus on their research, which includes taking part in third-cycle courses and research projects. Up to 20% of the job responsibilities may also involve teaching and other departmental tasks.

We live in a world full of oxygen-depleted conditions, such as marine sediments. These areas, while being referred to as “anoxic dead zones,” are home to a variety of living forms, including eukaryotic microorganisms. Specialised metabolism is present in these eukaryotes, particularly in their mitochondria. This PhD thesis aims to investigate the mitochondrial biology of anaerobic eukaryotes to comprehend how their metabolism and organelle function have changed as a result of adaptation to oxygen-free settings. We’ll concentrate on the anaerobic respiratory chain, also known as the electron transport chain, as well as additional methods of moving electrons, such as hydrogen production.

The student will look at the variety of functions that anaerobic respiratory chains have to provide as well as the evolutionary processes, including lateral gene transfer, that have led to this adaptability.

Modern cell biology techniques like proteomics, metabolomics of quinone compounds, and super-resolution imaging will be used in this endeavour. Strong competency in bioinformatics techniques like transcriptomics, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics is also possible.

The potential PhD candidate will work in the Biology Department’s Molecular Cell Biology Division at Lund University, where they will be co-supervised by eminent mitochondrial biologist Dr Olivier van Aken and overseen by eukaryotic microbiology expert Dr Courtney Stairs. This study is a component of the “TANGO2” StG grant from the European Research Council, which was given to Dr. Stairs.


The individual applying for the position should:

  1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or,
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or,
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Additional Requirements

  1. A MSc in molecular biology/biochemistry/evolutionary biology or a closely related area. Candidates who are currently pursuing/completing their MSc are welcome to apply, provided that a degree certificate can be presented before admission/employment.
  2. Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  3. Demonstrated ability for proactive and independent work.
  4. Practical experience in molecular biology or cell biology of prokaryotic or eukaryotic microorganisms.
  5. Experience with heterologous gene expression in yeast/prokaryotes or exploring yeast/prokaryotic physiology, and anaerobic biology.
  6. Experience with mitochondrial biochemistry or physiology.


The deadline for the notification is on 03rd May 2024,

For more information and application visit the official website

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