A PhD program on microbial symbioses

Nature is inherently complex. No organism evolved or lives in isolation, but in a dynamic environment. This environment includes a multitude of other living organisms, mostly microbial.

There is overwhelming evidence that the ecology and evolution of virtually all eukaryotes, from single-celled protists to humans, is shaped by intimate, often beneficial interactions with microbes. Considering the widespread recognition these relationships are currently receiving in science and the general public, now is the ideal time to bring together experts for a dedicated scientific training program on microbe-host relationships.

The goal of this PhD program Microbial Symbioses is to equip the next generation of biologists with the conceptual understanding and state-of-the art methodological tools to look beyond a single organism in isolation, be it plant, invertebrate or human, and consider it within a complex network of interactions with other organisms and environments.

Interdisciplinary education, training in an international environment, and cutting-edge molecular and cultivation-independent methods for understanding (metabolic) interactions in dynamic environments are unifying themes for the research projects in the program.

The PhD program is supported by the Austrian Science Fund project "MAINTAIN".



The participating departments include:

Coordinators: Jillian PetersenMatthias Horn

Administration: Josephine Pfeifer