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Two PhD positions in Sweden

Uppsala University hereby declares the following positions to be open for application: Two PhD-student positions in Plant Ecology with direction marine biology At the Department of Ecology and Evolution. We seek two highly motivated individuals interested in
pursuing a PhD degree in Plant Ecology within a research program on the ecology of marine algae PhD-project 1: Oxidative stress in Baltic plankton communities. This project will concentrate on the physiological basis of ecological processes. Changing environmental conditions may create environmental stress which is often expressed as oxidative stress within living cells. Oxidative stress is recognised as a physiological condition established when the production of reactive oxygen species exceeds the antioxidant defensive systems of organisms, resulting in oxidative damage of cell
membranes and nucleic acids. This may affect species interactions. For example, phytoplankton species with highly effective antioxidant
defences may have an advantage in competition with other species and the quality of phytoplankton as food for zooplankton may be affected by the oxidative stress status of the phytoplankton cells. This PhD-project aims at (1) characterising and quantifying stress responses of Baltic phytoplankton communities to environmental factors such as nutrients, temperature, irradiation and contaminants and (2) identifying the role of oxidative stress in interactions within and between species, including zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton. The project will include biochemical analyses using
spectrophotometry, high-performance liquid chromatography and functional proteome analyses (for studying gene expressions), as well as statistical analyses of collected data. Experiments will be performed in Uppsala, at field stations in the Baltic Sea area and on the Swedish west coast, and on board of ships. PhD-project 2: The role of Baltic phytoplankton in the supply of vitamins to higher trophic levels. Vitamin deficiency has recently been documented in top predators such as salmon and seabirds in the Baltic Sea area. This can be caused by a low production of vitamins in the ecosystem or by a high need for vitamins through environmental stress (e.g. pollutants). Practically all vitamins in the sea have their origin
in phytoplankton communities. Vitamin requirement and production in microalgae have been studied in aquaculture, but very little is known about these processes in natural aquatic food webs. This PhD-project aims at (1) characterising and quantifying the production and transport of vitamins A, B1, C, E and others with emphasis on the role of phytoplankton (2) identifying vitamin deficiency problems at different trophic levels of the major pelagic food chain in the Baltic Sea: phytoplankton, zooplankton, herring/sprat, cod/salmon. The project will include biochemical analyses using
spectrophotometry and high-performance liquid chromatography, as well as statistical analyses of collected data. Experiments will be performed in Uppsala, at field stations in the Baltic Sea area and on the Swedish west coast, and on board of ships. Within the general subject area there will be considerable scope for the
PhD-students to develop their own interests and to influence the
emphasis of their projects. The announced position is planned for
four years full-time. Wages increase successively from ca. 14.500 to
ca. 20.500 SEK per month. Applicants should possess a BSc or MSc degree in a biological subject relevant for the PhD-projects described above, and should have a strong interest in practical ecological field work as well as the use of biochemical methods to study key questions in ecology. For further details: see
http://www.vaxtbio.uu.se/resfold/Snoeijs.htm or contact professor
Pauli Snoeijs,pauli.snoeijs@ebc.uu.se, tel. +46 18 471 2885.
Please submit your CV, a letter describing your research interest and skills, a copy of your masters thesis or equivalent, and contact information for two references to Registrator, UFV-PA 2005/XXXX (for correct number, see http://www.personalavd.uu.se/ledigaplatser/engindex.html), Uppsala University, Box 256, SE-75105 Uppsala, Sweden, before May 2, 2005