Postdoctoral fellow within meta-omics analysis of microbial communities

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
September 18 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 2-year Post Doctoral-position related to the project: “MetaNorSE: Meta-omic interpretation of Norwegian Salmon gastrointestinal Ecosystems”.

KBM at NMBU is located at Ås Campus 30 km south of Oslo and has approximately 130 employees spread over 12 research groups. The position is part of a collaboration between the Biostatistics group and the Protein Engineering and Proteomics (PEP) group. The Biostatistics group does research in the intersection between biology and statistics/computer science, and currently consists of six senior researchers, two postdoc, five PhD students and a number of master students. The PEP group is focused on basic and applied enzymology, bioprocessing, microbiology and anaerobic digestion. The project will also engage in close collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE, Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences at the Faculty of Biosciences), which includes experimental biologists as well as experts on bioinformatics and mathematical modeling.

Research Project

The postdoctor will be associated with the project “MetaNorSE: Meta-omic interpretation of Norwegian Salmon gastrointestinal Ecosystems” which aims to decipher gut microbiome-host metabolic networks that exert major influence in Norwegian Salmon nutrition and health.

The continued growth in production of Norwegian Atlantic Salmon has presented the industry with a range of challenges. In particular, feed resources that are environmentally sustainable and nutritive for the animal are a prerequisite for long-term expansion and development. Whilst there are decades of research actively examining alternative non-fishmeal diets for salmon production, there is scarce information pertaining to the salmon gastrointestinal (GIT) microbiome that is directly responsible for feed conversion and maintaining host physiology.

Given the direct correlation of the salmon GIT microbiome towards salmon health and therefore agricultural production, the overall project objectives are to describe major as-yet uncharacterized microbial populations and associated metabolic networks that are ubiquitous in the salmon GIT microbiome, and are believed responsible for efficient feed conversion and gut homeostasis. In order to achieve this, we aim to use a combination of metagenomics, metaproteomics and bioinformatics to generate more insight into the microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions that occur within the GIT microbiome. Pursuing this goal addresses fundamentally intriguing scientific questions, such as how GIT microbes within a community cooperate to convert feed and how these processes are interconnected to nutrient metabolism in host tissue. The significance of this work is generating new horizons into cooperative microbial actions and "hidden" mechanisms for feed conversion. 

Main tasks

Major tasks include:

  • Generation of metagenomic datasets and population genomes that are representative of salmon host-associated microbiomes.

  • Functional meta-omic characterisation of salmon gut microbiota using metabolic reconstruction and quantitative metaproteomics. 

  • Identification of key metabolic pathways using regulatory network analysis of meta-omic data generated from microbiome(s) as well as salmon host tissues.

For further information and application, please see:

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