Interested in working on the microbiology of microplastics pollution in soils?

Agricultural soils are one of the most important sinks for global microplastics pollution, but soil microorganisms can help to alleviate these problems. The University of Bayreuth, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences, Chair of Ecological Microbiology (Prof. Dr. Tillmann Lueders) is currently offering a:

Phd Position in Soil Microbiology (m/f/d), TV-L E 13 (65 %) Microbes and microplastics in agricultural soils. The position is available from July 1st, 2023, or as soon as filled, for a duration of three years.

We are looking for: A highly motivated PhD candidate with a completed Masters’ degree in microbiology, molecular ecology, soil microbiology or other closely related fields. A strong background in microbiology, molecular biology and/or biogeochemical analytics is expected. Experience in next-generation sequencing or the setting up of field experiments are of benefit. You enjoy working in a team as well as independently. Candidates with a good written and spoken English are preferred.

Your tasks: Come and work with us in the 2nd phase of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 1357 “Microplastics” This exciting and interdisciplinary project aims at understanding the impacts of microplastics pollution in the environment and to generate novel solutions. Our specific sub-project aims are to:

  • Compare the impacts of conventional vs. biodegradable microplastics on soil microbiota
  • Establish ecotoxicological approaches for microplastics and soil-relevant microbes
  • Conduct an integrated field mesocosms experiment to elucidate the entry and impact routes of microplastics at the soil – microbe – plant interphase

Our offer: Work in a modern, well-equipped environmental microbiology laboratory at the renowned Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER). Our working atmosphere is characterised by a culture of mutual respect, active participation and interdisciplinary interaction. The project also involves collaboration and close interactions with several other research groups within the CRC 1357.

Active involvement in workshops and meetings of the consortium are strongly encouraged. The University of Bayreuth values the diversity of its employees as an asset and is explicitly committed to the goal of gender equality and inclusion. Female researchers are strongly encouraged to apply. Persons with a disability will be given preferential consideration if equally qualified.

Your application: Please apply online with your complete application documents (cover letter, CV, certificates, list of publications, 2 reference persons) using the keyword “Soil Microplastics PhD” via email to Prof. Dr. T. Lüders ( Please send your application by 15. May 2023 latest, interviews will start a.s.a.p. For any related questions, please contact TL via email or phone (Tel.: +49 (0) 921 555 640). Also visit us online:

We are looking forward to welcoming you in the Ecological Microbiology Group in beautiful Bayreuth!

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