Photosynthetic marine microorganisms are responsible for the production of half of the oxygen in our atmosphere, equal to the contribution of all land-based vegetation. They underpin the entire marine food web and shape the health and sustainability of all ocean resources. Despite their critical role we know surprisingly little about this crucial group. The Paulsen research group is using a range of cutting edge methodologies (ecogenomics, transcriptomics, single-cell analyses, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics and modelling) to investigate the lifestyle of these key primary producers.
We are looking for motivated candidates with excellent academic records to join our ARC Laureate Award funded research team. Our group is located in a state-of-the-art research facility which is part of the Biomolecular Frontiers Research Centre within Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Our dynamic research team has a wide range of expertise in microbiology, molecular biology, oceanography, bioinformatics, systems and synthetic biology. We currently have a number of scholarships (both Masters and PhD) to work on the Laureate project, including two that are bioinformatic in nature:
Building virtual cyanobacteria
Developing computational models at both a single cell and ecosystem level. This project will create and model metabolic processes, and generate working virtual cell/ecosystem units supported by experimental data. This research will deliver the first model of marine phototrophic organism and address fundamental questions such as ‘what defines the minimal set of genes required for a free living photosynthetic organism?’
Cyanobacterial transporter characterisation
Membrane transporters have a central role in determining the success of an individual in any given environment; essential for nutrient import, waste export and maintenance of osmolarity. This project will have an informatic focus, involving developing tools for handling large datasets, algorithms for transporter characterisation and visualisation. Transporter characterisation is a long-term interest and strength of the Paulsen group and this project will integrate closely with the cyanobacterial modelling work.
These PhD positions carry scholarships of AUD$25,392 per annum, tax exempt.
Application process:Interested individuals are invited to discuss these projects with Laureate Fellow Professor Paulsen (firstname.lastname@example.org). Initial expression of interest should contain a CV and short statement of your research interests. There is potential for additional projects which connect to the overall research focus of the group to be considered and developed together with prospective candidates.
Application for the PhD positions will be through the Macquarie University HDR website. Please see the website and links within for further information about eligibility and submission procedures. (http://hdr.mq.edu.au/information_about/Scholarships/schol-opportunities/hdr_scholarships_domestic_and_international).
Learn more about Macquarie University's profile, the facilities available and its campus life (http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/university_profile/ and http://www.mq.edu.au/on_campus.php)