Post-doctoral fellow on the evolution of a microbial metabolism: Sulfur dismutation

Work context of Post doc fellow ref UMR6197-KARALA-001

BEEP is a joint research unit (UMR6197) of CNRS, UBO and Ifremer. This unit proposes a multidisciplinary approach of the biology and ecology of deep marine ecosystems, considering both microbial and faunal compartments. It includes about 50 permanent and 40 non-permanent staff working on 2 adjacent campuses (IUEM and Ifremer). The person recruited will be assigned to the BEEP unit located at the Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM), under the direction of Dr. Karine ALAIN. The candidate will be co-supervised by Prof. Junior Violette DA CUNHA of the Laboratory of Bioinformatics Analysis for Genomics and Metabolism (LABGeM, UMR8030) of the Genoscope.


This project is part of the ANR MISD (ANR-22-CE02-0001). It focuses on the study of the microbial sulfur disproportionation, a catabolism that may have appeared on Earth several billion years ago. The objective of this post-doctoral project is to study the evolutionary history of this catabolism, in relation to that of other catabolisms of the sulfur cycle (e.g. sulfate reduction).


We will try to trace the evolutionary history of sulfur disproportionation in relation to that of sulfate reduction (and in a second step in relation to that of sulfur-oxidation) in order to determine which of these catabolisms is the oldest and whether this catabolism is monophyletic or appeared several times by evolutionary convergence.

The first step will be to uncover the organisms coding for these different catabolic pathways, through HMM profiling approaches, and genomic context conservation studies. In a second step, phylogenetic analyses at the level of core markers and pathway markers of interest will be performed, followed by congruence tests and divergence estimates via molecular clock models.


-          The candidate must have conducted work in computational and evolutionary biology
-          Competence or expertise in phylogeny, congruence testing
-          Competence or expertise in comparative genomics, genome-wide analysis, and use of HMM profiles
-          Script writing
-          Fluency in written and spoken English
-          The candidate must be rigorous and methodical, autonomous, organized, able to work in a team and have good interpersonal skills