Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

Structure description

The postdoctoral candidate will be part of the Team “Photosymbiosis” from the Cell and Plant Physiology Laboratory (UGA-CNRS-INRAe-CEA UMR 5168, Grenoble, France) and the Schwab’s team from the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit,   European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL Heidelberg, Germany). The 2-year project will be performed under the supervision of Dr. Johan Decelle (CNRS) and Dr. Yannick Schwab (EMBL). The candidate will be part of the University of Grenoble Alpes and the EMBL post-doctoral program which secures excellent mentoring and offers a large diversity of training courses that are intended to boost careers in academia and/or industry. She/he will have access to different facilities in microalgae culture, imaging and genomics.

We offer a 2-year postdoctoral contract. The position is available in October 2020 (flexible starting date up to December 2020)


Deadline for applications: 1st of September 2020


In marine and freshwater plankton, a wide diversity of microalgae (phytoplankton) is involved in symbiotic interactions within “animal” cells (also called photosymbiosis) worldwide. A recent study on a marine photosymbiosis in the Mediterranean Sea conducted by Decelle and Schwab´s teams showed that the ultrastructure and trophic status of intracellular microalga significantly change in symbiosis within a host cell (Decelle et al 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.073). However, we still lack a mechanistic understanding on the symbiotic interaction and the cellular and physiological responses to different conditions remain largely unexplored. The major aim of the project is therefore to explore the dynamic link between genotype and phenotype of unicellular photosymbioses collected in different marine and freshwater ecosystems and evaluate whether the morpho-genetic features of microalgae are conserved across these ecosystems and host diversity. Photosymbioses will be explored in ecosystems exposed to rapid changes due seasonal variations and to climate change, such as the Arctic seas and Alpine mountain lakes.

The originality of this interdisciplinary study relies on the sampling strategy and downstream imaging and genomics methods that aim to study organisms in their native environmental context and not in artificial conditions as traditionally conducted in the laboratory. The project will provide the postodoctoral researcher with a wide range of technical skills in cutting-edge imaging, field sampling and transcriptomics in a very stimulating environment between Grenoble (LPCV) and Heidelberg (EMBL). He/she will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of both teams in photosymbiosis, microalgae diversity, molecular and cell biology, correlative multimodal imaging and bio-informatics.

Requirements and qualifications

We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic and talented scientist with curiosity, excellent skills and knowledge in imaging (sample preparation and light and/or electron microscopy), and/or genomics and cell biology.

– PhD (or final stages of PhD) in a relevant biological subject (e.g. cell biology, microbial ecology, physiology, microscopy).

– The candidate should have a good academic track record, and solid background and research experience in microscopy and/or genomics, and fieldwork

– Technical skills in light and/or electron microscopy, sample preparation, FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization), CLEM, culture of microalgae, image analysis, molecular biology.

– Knowledge and research experience in microalgae or plants, photosynthesis, physiology, marine or freshwater plankton, would be considered an advantage.

– Excellent written and oral communication skills and proficiency in English are required. French is optional.



Application deadline: 1st of September 2020

The 2-year postdoctoral position is available from the 1st of October 2020(1st of December at the latest).

Please send to and before 1st of September (deadline) a single PDF containing:

– a full CV (including a list of publications) and at least two letters of reference with contact details

– a 1-2 page cover letter explaining your research interests and goals, how your skills meet the requirements, and what you can bring in the project.

Candidates will then be selected for an interview.