Microbial and MEtabolite-based indicators for Soil Health (MMeSH).

  • Training/Education
  • Ireland
  • Posted 2 months ago

Atlantic Technological University, Sligo


An exciting opportunity for two PhD candidates to join a multidisciplinary international team led by Atlantic Technological University, Sligo to conduct research in the area of soil health, metabolomics and metagenomics. MMeSH is an ambitious multidiscplinary project funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency as part of the strategic research theme “Protecting and Restoring Our Natural Environment”. Healthy soils are essential in achieving climate neutrality, reversing biodiversity loss, providing healthy food and safeguarding human health. Yet, despite decades soil research, we still cannot adequately evaluate soil health to ensure and enhance soil ecosystem services. The aim of this project is to use an ‘omics’-based approach, using metabolomics and genomics, to create new insights into soil biodiversity and function. We will exploit the data and knowledge gained by national soil mapping programmes in Ireland (the Tellus Survey) to provide the most detailed characterisation to-date of soil microbial biodiversity and metabolic activity in soil samples from key land-use types in the west and northwest of Ireland. It is envisaged that novel soil health indicators will be discovered and existing indicators (or combinations thereof) validated, which will then be used within soil quality monitoring programmes. 

The MMeSH project requires two PhD students in: 

  • Position 1) Mass-spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance approach to study soil lipidomics and metabolomics 
  • Position 2) Culture-independent genomic techniques to characterise the microbial diversity of soils

Both students will be involved in Geographic Information System (GIS)-based mapping activities for designing sampling campaigns and producing final research outputs in the form of maps, datasets etc. 

TO APPLY: Interested applicants are required to, read the terms & conditions, complete an application form (both available on the research page https://www.itsligo.ie/research/) that will include (in a single document): 

  • Curriculum Vitae (to include 2 referees)  
  • A copy of transcript of results. 
  • Proof of English language competency, if English is not the native language. 
  • A cover letter outlining personal motivation to pursue a PhD and how you meet the requirements of the position(s). 

Completed applications should be submitted to to the Research office, Atlantic Technological University Sligo Campus, at  

The post will remain open until filled. The start date for both positions is as soon as possible but no later than October 1st 2023.

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where (nearmejobs.eu) you saw this posting.

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