We are looking for a motivated and dependable Master student to conduct a meta-barcoding project on the community ecology of root endophytes associated to tropical trees. The student will have the opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art high-throughput sequencing techniques (Illumina MiSeq), and the ecology of understudied groups of Eumycota colonizing roots.
It has been demonstrated that soil fertilization with P and N reduces the diversity and changes the community composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) living in association with tropical trees. It has also been demonstrated that AMF have a strong influence over the colonization and establishment of other groups of microorganisms living in the rhizosphere. Contrasting with this knowledge, the combined effect that changes on the diversity AMF assemblages and nutrient condition in the soil has on less known groups of root associated fungi (e.g. Sebacinales) is poorly understood. The master project we are proposing aims to fill this gap.
Previous knowledge on molecular biology techniques, fungal ecology and statistics is desirable but not mandatory. Despite the standalone nature of the project, the student will have to collaborate closely with researchers from diverse cultural backgrounds, so strong interpersonal communication skills are desirable.