PhD Position in Environmental DNA from Air Samples

ETH Zurich Institute of Environmental Engineering

PhD position – Environmental DNA from air samples

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Applications are invited for a PhD position in the Air Quality and Particle Technology group (Prof. Dr. J. Wang). The successful candidate will matriculate in ETH Zürich.

Position starting from May 2024 or upon agreement.

Project background

The research focuses on environmental DNA from air samples. DNA can be found inside living organisms and floating in the air. Recent studies demonstrated that airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) could be employed for species monitoring and estimating biodiversity. Such technology holds significant potential for aiding conservation efforts and combating illegal wildlife trade. However, much remains unknown about the spread and dynamics of airborne eDNA. The project aims to understand the sources of airborne eDNA, investigate the transport of eDNA and fate, study the health impact of eDNA, and control the hazardous ones such as antibiotic-resistant genes.

Job description

Additionally, our group is engaged in the development of various sensors targeting biological pollutants based on advanced optics, microfluidics, and electrochemical methods, which provides a wide range of opportunities for you.

You will be involved in tasks such as

- Air sample collection

- Apply microbiological methods such as qPCR and sequencing to identify and quantity eDNA

- Employ data analysis to extract eDNA characteristics

- Investigate the toxic impact of hazardous genes, e.g., on lung cells

Your profile

We are looking for suitable candidates with a master level degree in microbiology, environmental biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, or related fields with excellent grades. Good experimental capability is of high value. Good command of English is required.

Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

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We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • curriculum vitae
  • a complete academic transcript including undergraduate and graduate courses
  • copies of diploma/certificates
  • contact information of 2-3 potential referees
  • a short description of research interests

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Please contact Prof. Wang, jing.wang@ifu.baug.ethz.ch (no applications) for further information and visit our website.

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.