In support of our new team, starting December 2019/January 2020, we are looking for a

Doctoral Candidate for our ‘Microbial Systems’ research group

This doctoral project will be part of the newly founded DFG Emmy-Neother Junior Research Group “Ecology and Evolution of dark matter fungi in aquatic biofilms”. The aim of the research is to understand the fundamental ecology and evolution of the largely enigmatic group of aquatic fungi. By combining microdissection, high-throughput culturing, and molecular based long read sequencing, we will uncover how and which fungal interactions with which microbial members impact overall microbial community structure and function. We will also generate extensive fungal reference data that will serve as a key resource to build a robust early fungal phylogeny and to discuss early fungal evolution based on phylogenomics and fungal interactions. Within this larger framework, the doctoral thesis aims to i) improve our understanding on the ecological role of aquatic fungi in wastewater biofilms, ii) to assess their trophic role in simplified food-webs, iii) to identify their relevance in the carbon and nutrient cycle for water treatment processes.

About us

The Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich is engaged in research activities that are centred around sustainable, energy-efficient urban water and wastewater systems, energy recovery from wastewater and anaerobic technologies, storm water treatment and management, microbial systems, engineered natural treatment systems, advanced water treatment, water recycling, food-energy-water nexus, and state-of-the-art chemical analysis for process control and water quality. The Chair maintains a physico-chemical laboratory, a microbiology laboratory and a trace organic chemical laboratory. Core facilities with shared equipment support all of the TUMs scientific faculties.  For further information, please visit our website at

About the location

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. Munich itself is one of the top five ranked cities in the world; it has a rich and diverse culture ranging from local traditions to an international flair, supported by an excellent public transport system. Moreover, it is blessed with beautiful surroundings and the neighbouring Alps that allow a multitude of recreational activities.


Applicants should demonstrate the following qualifications.

  • Excellent Master’s degree in Microbiology, Biotechnology, Biology, or related natural sciences.
  • General interest in aquatic microbiology and engineered water systems
  • Special knowledge in environmental microbiology, mycology, aquatic sciences, and bioinformatics
  • Team and communication skills and the ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary team
  • Very good written and oral communication skills in English.

Duties and Responsibilities

While becoming a member of our research team, your responsibilities will consist of

  • Design of reactors and conduction of manipulative experiments on heterotrophic biofilms
  • High throughput sequencing based microbial community analysis
  • Decryption of the interactions of aquatic fungi with other microbial biofilm members
  • Writing of publications for international peer-reviewed journals as part of the thesis
  • Close collaboration and communication with partners from Germany, Sweden, France and the US
  • Representation of research activities at national and international conferences

We offer

  • Work within an international and multidisciplinary research team
  • Support and optimal training courses by TUM graduate school
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TV-L public-sector pay grade 13 (75%) for four years

TUM has been pursuing the strategic goal of substantially increasing the diversity of its staff. As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, TUM explicitly encourages applications from women, including those who were previously on parental leave, as well as from all others who would bring additional diversity dimensions to the university’s research and teaching strategies. Preference will be given to disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications. International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Please send your application including a letter of motivation, a CV (excluding any photographs), and contact information of two references via email and the subject “DMF” to Dr. Christian Wurzbacher (

Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich
Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering
Dr. rer. nat. Christian Wurzbacher
Am Coulombwall 3
85748 Garching, Germany
Tel. +49 89 289 13797

As part of your application for a position at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), you transmit personal data. Please note our data protection information in accordance with Art. 13 of the Basic Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) on the collection and processing of personal data in connection with your application By submitting your application, you confirm that you have taken note of the data protection information of the TUM.

Application deadline:
Start date:
Location: Munich