The deep, dark ocean is inhospitable, but oases of life are sporadically found in reefs made out of corals and sponges.
These invertebrates live in symbiosis with microorganisms, which can use energy that seeps from the seafloor to sequester carbon. This project will analyse how these microorganisms convert the sparse resources in the deep ocean to support life and entire ecosystems.
We will explore this during deep-sea expeditions and by using state-of-the-art microbial community analysis. Deep-sea ecosystems have the potential to sequester carbon for eons and the project will reveal what limits this process and how it can be enhanced.
This project requires an outstanding graduate with a strong academic record, including an Honours Class I or equivalent. The ideal candidate should have an interest and/or background in microbial physiology & metabolism, symbiosis and marine ecology. Experiences in bioinformatics are an advantage.