Life in the ocean

PhD scholarship in Fluid dynamics, evolution, and ecology of flagellate foraging

Tuesday 15 Dec 20


Thomas Kiørboe
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 01
The Centre for Ocean Life at DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark, offers a PhD scholarship in ‘Fluid dynamics, evolution, and ecology of flagellate foraging’. The PhD project is funded by the Innovative Training Network ITN PHYMOT.

A three-year PhD scholarship in nanoflagellate feeding is available at the Centre for Ocean Life at DTU Aqua. 

Unicellular nanoflagellates play a key role in microbial food webs, by eating microbes, and by themselves being prey to zooplankton. The action of their flagella generates feeding currents to enhance prey encounter rates but the feeding flows at the same time exposes the flagellates to theuir rheotactic (flow sensing) predation predators. The evolution of the highly diverse flagellar arrangements, beat patterns and kinematics found among flagellates in the ocean is the result of the often-conflicting needs to feed, survive, and move.

The project aims at exploring and quantifying foraging trade-offs in nanoflagellates with diverse flagellar arrangements. Depending on the expertise and interests of the candidate, the PhD project can focus on different aspects of this topic, from CFD modelling and quantification of feeding flows by particle tracking or μ-PIV, to microscopic observations of foraging behavior or assessment of predation risk by incubation experiments and observations. Expert supervision is available on all aspects.

The student will be part of the cross-disciplinary Centre for Ocean Life at DTU Aqua as well as the EU International Training Network, PHYMOT ( The Centre is a collaborative effort between biologists, physicists and mathematicians to develop a fundamental understanding and predictive capability of marine ecosystems with currently about 20 young scientists (PhD and Postdocs) associated. They are working on various aspects of marine life while collaborating through weekly science meetings, annual science retreats, numerous working groups, and collaborative projects. The international training network PHYMOT comprises 13 academic and private partners, spanning eight EU countries. The scientific objective is to understand the physics of cell motility, from single cells to collective behavior. Cell swimming underpins a wide range of fundamental biological phenomena from microbial grazing at the base of the food web, to parasitic infections, and animal reproduction. The student will spend research stays at PHYMOT partners.

Follow the link below to apply. Deadline 20 January 2021.
29 JULY 2021