The Environmental Virology and Ecology Research Group (i.e., ENVERG; https://uwaterloo.ca/environmental-virology-ecology-research-group/) led by Dr. Nissimov is recruiting a domestic or international PhD student to investigate the interactions between harmful algal bloom-forming species and their viruses.
Project Scope: Aquatic viruses are now viewed as major drivers of biogeochemical cycles and as crucial components that shape microbial food webs. Our main understanding of these viruses derives predominantly from their study in marine habitats. To that end, it is widely accepted that they can control the abundance of dominant microbial communities, decide the faith of algal blooms, and affect the diversity of microorganisms in coastal and oceanic environments. Nevertheless, despite the ecological and societal importance of freshwater environments, our understanding of the role of viruses in freshwater habitats is at its infancy. The PhD student will work in a collaborative and cross-disciplinary environment to identify and isolate from Canadian lakes novel microalgal/cyanobacterial hosts and their viruses, investigate their diversity and co-occurrence in situ, and conduct infection-dynamics experiments in the laboratory. Collectively, these will begin to unravel the ecological significance of virus infection of harmful algal blooms in lakes.
For application details, download the PDF.
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