The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) cordially invites applicants for the position of a PhD student investigating algae toxicity on fish, mussels and zooplankton. The position in the Department of Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture (Müggelseedamm 310, Berlin) and Department of Plankton and Microbial Ecology (Lake Stechlin, 85 km north of Berlin), is available May 1st, 2023 or shortly thereafter and limited to three years.
The work is carried out as part of a multidisciplinary project, comprising a series of sub-projects investigating the reasons and consequences of the environmental catastrophe in the Oder River of August 2022 (ODER-SO) funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The collective scope of the full project is to monitor and analyze algal and pollutant loads, document the status and recovery of populations of multiple organism groups, carry out precautionary studies on potential future poisoning events, and investigate the ecological role of floodplains in multiple development scenarios. The overall aim of ODER-SO is to provide a broad knowledge-base for the integrative management of coupled river-floodplain ecosystems, enabling more precise analyses and forecasts of river status that can form the basis for preventive measures against the harmful effects of algal blooms.
The subproject described here will study dose-dependent toxin effects of the haptophyte phytoplankton species Prymnesium parvum, isolated from the Oder River. This sub-project will be conducted in collaboration with a sub-project focusing on the determination of toxin production of P. parvum cultures under different growth conditions. The main aim of this sub-project is to determine the mode of action of the haptophyte, leading to its toxic effects, assess threshold values for P. parvum concentrations resulting in toxin effects on zooplankton, mussels, and early life stages of fish, including sturgeon, to better understand and forecast effects of harmful algal blooms in the Oder River. The work will be conducted in an international team, using well-equipped laboratories and the infrastructure of a leading institute in the field.