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Postdoc position in microalgae biochemistry



Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg, Danmark

ID: 2360323
Indrykket for 72 dage siden
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), at University of Copenhagen is offering a 2-year postdoc fellowship to study what determines the fate of an algae? Will it thrive at the ocean surface consume CO2 and exhale breathable oxygen, or will it fall to ocean floor, sediment, and become crude oil over time?

The fellowship will commence January 1st, 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The postdoc position is financed by Villum Experiment grant called “MOONWALK – MOving ON Water: Algae buoyancy LacKing limbs”, with the Plant Biochemistry Section at PLEN as the working place. The successful applicant will join the Algae biosynthesis research group headed by Ass. Prof. Johan Andersen-Ranberg. The work in the MOONWALK project will be supervised by Johan A-Ranberg and Postdoc Daniel Poveda Huertes.

The research project will support the efforts in establishing microalgae as a CO2 negative bioproduction platform. Duties of the postdoc will include experimental work, scientific dissemination and teaching. The postdoc may also include performance of other duties such as scientific mentoring.


Over billions of years, algae have provided the oxygen we breathe and they are the basis of the fossil fuels that are being burnt creating havoc in our atmosphere. Microalgae such as Nannochloropsis oceanica are essential for the global ecosystem. Curiously these types of algae do not have “limbs” or flagella, and the research question in MOONWALK is: How do non-motile microalgae move in the water column to ensure optimal light and nutrient conditions for growth?

This work will include molecular biology studies on marine algae to understand how the they can change their buoyancy and thereby their placement in a water column by altering the intracellular lipid content upon different environmental stimuli.

N. oceanica produce a range of high value lipids used in baby formula and nutraceuticals, thus the MOONWALK project will include topic within both basic and applied sciences.

As part of the algae biosynthesis group the postdoc fellow will collaborate with Postdocs and PhDs working with algae pigment biosynthesis and the development of CO2 negative bioproduction systems based on N. oceanica. The group is working in close collaboration with the start-up company TriptoBIO (co-founded by Johan A-Ranberg), thus the candidate will be exposed to an entrepreneurial mindset and gain insights on research processes in a commercial setting.


Applicants should, prior to the start date, hold a PhD degree in synthetic biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, molecular biology, microbial biology, plant biology or similar subjects, and should be fluent in both spoken and written English. If you are still a PhD student at the time of the application deadline, please provide a confirmation letter from your supervisor that you are expected to finish in time before the start date of the postdoc position. Previous publications and relevant work experience will be included in the assessment of your qualifications.

Key scientific qualification areas

  • Molecular biology
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Bioinformatics / transcriptomics / proteomics
  • Analytical chemistry / metabolomics
  • Algae biology
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Strong publication record
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills written and spoken
Key personal skills

  • Enthusiasm and good interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to collaborate with others including supervision and mentoring of students
  • Broad curiosity in biological questions and open-mindedness to cross-disciplinary research
  • Curiosity driven interdisciplinary approach to science and a generous and open mindset
  • Ability to work independently and manage your research project
  • Ability to critically review research results generated as part of the project
  • Engagement in Departmental and Laboratory activities including lab duties, teaching and dissemination of your research
  • Ensuring GLP and general safety operations

The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 2 years. The starting date is 1 January 2024 or after agreement.

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.


The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent including any grades if relevant)
  • Complete publication list; please divide into pre-prints and peer-reviewed journal publications if relevant. Please add 1-2 sentences below each item on the list on what your contributions were.
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers
Candidates that are interested in applying for a Marie Curie post doc stipend are encouraged to apply.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is October 19th, 2023 23:59 GMT +2. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.


PLEN is a large department (>450 employees) dedicated to plant, microbial, and environmental sciences. Further information, PLEN & UCPH Faculty of Science

PLEN is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse environment where employees and students can belong and thrive. All qualified applicants will receive full consideration. Candidates who, through their research, teaching, and/or service, contribute to diversity and competencies of our Institute are encouraged to apply. The University of Copenhagen strives to offer a family friendly and flexible working environment with a sustainable balance between work- and private life, including parental leave schemes (up to 47 weeks for both parents) and up to six weeks of paid holidays per year.

Researchers that have not been tax liable in Denmark for the last 10 years can apply for a special (reduced) tax scheme. The university offers a variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families.


For specific information about the Postdoc fellowship, please contact Ass. Prof. Johan Andersen-Ranberg, e-mail: [email protected] Section for Plant Biochemistry at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

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