Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

UU-NIOZ Student Work Experience

Call is closed - please visit this webpage again in early 2020 for call 2020

Call for Applications from Utrecht University Students

The NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Utrecht University are offering 2-month paid Student Work Experience Placements. The aim is to expose excellent UU students to marine science. The idea is that the work experience placements can serve as a replacement of a summer job outside the University.
Below you can find the list of all possible student work experience projects. Please note that projects 1 to 13 take place at NIOZ on the island of Texel and/or Utrecht University, while projects 14 to 18 take place at NIOZ in Yerseke/Zeeland and/or Utrecht University.
  • Project 1: Culturing benthic foraminifera under a range of conditions and analysing their clumped isotopic composition

    Culturing benthic foraminifera under a range of conditions and analysing their clumped isotopic composition

    Background:
    The chemical composition of the shells of foraminifera provide valuable tools to reconstruct past climates. One of the newest and most promising approaches in this sense, is the use of clumped isotope thermometry, which is based on the principle that the occurrence of ‘clumping’ of rare heavy isotopes is determined by temperature. This project will combine a set of foraminiferal culturing experiments (NIOZ) with state-of-the-art geochemical analysis (UU) to quantify the Δ47 of foraminiferal carbonate as a function of temperature and test its sensitivity to varying pH.

    Work description:
    Benthic foraminifera of the species Amphistegina lessonii will be grown under a range of temperatures, salinities and pH’s to gain sufficient material for clumped isotope analysis. The combination of these experiments will allow testing the Δ47-temperature sensitivity as well as the potential effect of other environmental parameters, which is necessary to correct for simultaneous changes in past conditions.

    Requirements:
    Specific previous knowledge is not necessary, however we seek to find a motivated student who has an affinity for labwork. The success of this work depends on accurate and clean lab procedures.

    Time period: not further specified

    Supervisors:

    Lennart de Nooijer (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/le...

    Martin Ziegler (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/mziegler

  • Project 2: New calcite growth experiments for a better understanding of paleoclimates and biomineralization

    New calcite growth experiments for a better understanding of paleoclimates and biomineralization

    Background:
    A great deal of what we know about the Earth’s past climate and environment over geologic timescales is inferred from the isotopic composition ( Δ18O, Δ13C and more recently clumped-isotopes) of calcium carbonate minerals (CaCO3). Despite the wide usage of carbonate isotopic records in Earth Sciences, a full understanding of isotopic fractionation between carbonate minerals and water is still lacking. This is a significant problem because it limits the accuracy of environmental reconstructions based on carbonate isotopic proxies. In parallel, new knowledge on the isotopic fractionation mechanisms will contribute to elucidate how biologic calcifiers (such as corals, molluscs and calcifying planktic species) build their shells. Such knowledge is critical for predicting how marine life will respond to ocean acidification as well as for the Earth’s global carbon budget.

    Work description:
    The proposed project aims at closing a significant knowledge gap in the field of isotope geology: understanding and quantifying the effect of mineral growth rate on the isotopic fractionation between carbonate minerals and water.
    Specifically, you will grow calcium carbonate minerals under controlled conditions. The laboratory-grown minerals will then be analysed (by NIOZ staff) for their isotopic (Δ18O, Δ13C and clumped isotopes) composition.

    Requirements:
    We are looking for a motivated student to take part in these experiments over the summer 2019. The project consists of conducting experiments in NIOZ laboratories, requiring some autonomy, knowledge of chemistry and/or geochemistry. The student will gain experience in the field of experimental geochemistry, paleoclimatology and mineralogy.

    Time period: summer 2019

    Supervisors:

    Laurent Devriendt (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/la...

    Gert-Jan Reichart (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ge...

    Martin Ziegler (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/mziegler

  • Project 3: Experimental testing of P uptake by Ca-carbonates

    Experimental testing of P uptake by Ca-carbonates

    Background and work description:
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion to organic carbon by microbes in the oceans helps regulate long-term carbon storage, playing a key role in controlling the global climate. However, microbial activity is modulated by the availability of nutrients such as P. In this project the student will conduct laboratory experiments to explore the impact of Ca-carbonate dissolution on P removal from solution using controlled experiments in weakly acidic solutions with variable chemistry (e.g. pH, Mg-, PO43-). We hypothesize that the dissolution of CaCO3 particles in acidic sediments will produce a chemically distinct, micro-scale fluid boundary layer around the particle. This layer is expected to have a higher Ca concentration and pH than the surrounding, bulk solution, and thus provide an environment where P released from dissolving CaCO3 is efficiently retained by precipitation of Ca-P minerals at the CaCO3 surface. Therefore, the student will characterize the chemical micro-environment around dissolving CaCO3 particles (i.e. Ca2, pH gradients) using micro-electrodes and fluorescence microscopy (NIOZ). The dissolution of CaCO3 particles and surface precipitation of newly formed Ca phases will also be imaged in-situ using flow-through atomic force microscopy (AFM), and characterized by a combination of Raman spectroscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy (UU).

    Requirements:
    The student should have taken courses related to biogeochemistry and/or mineralogy.
    Previous experience with chemical laboratory work is preferred.
    Data will be processed in Microscoft Excel and using plotting programs such as SigmaPlot. The student should be able to use Microsoft Excel. Additional skills such as using SigmaPlot (available through UU) will be taught as required.

    Time period: during the second semester 2019

    Supervisors:

    Peter Kraal (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/pe...

    Helen King (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/HEKing

  • Project 4: Analysis of meiofauna samples collected with box-cores near the Rainbow vent field during NICO12 expedition

    Analysis of meiofauna samples collected with box-cores near the Rainbow vent field during NICO12 expedition

    Background:
    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are unique ecosystems with a fauna adapted to hot and toxic hydrothermal fluids and high in situ primary production. Whilst megafauna species are endemic to the active vent environment, the smaller meiofauna can live at the active vents and on rocky substrate in the vent surroundings. It is not yet known whether vent meiofauna is also present in sediments adjacent to the vents. Knowledge on vent faunal habitat range will shed light on the origin of vent fauna and is essential in regard to potential future deep-sea mining at hydrothermal vents and associated conservation strategies to maintain biodiversity.

    Work description:
    During the UU-NIOZ student work experience the student will work on meiofauna samples collected with box-cores near the Rainbow vent field during NICO12 expedition. The student will:
    • extract meiofauna from deep-sea sediments by centrifugation
    • sort meiofauna into higher taxa under a stereo-microscope
    • make slides for morphological species identification for nematodes and copepods

    Requirements:
    experience in working with stereomicroscopes, interest in faunal taxonomy

    Time period: preferred timing is 2 months FTE over the second semester in 2019

    Supervisors:

    Sabine Gollner (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/sa...

    Francesca Sangiorgi (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/FSangiorgi

  • Project 5: Analysis of properties of present-day Saharan dust

    Analysis of properties of present-day Saharan dust

    Background:
    Mineral dust is thought to play several roles in the earth’s climate; it cools the upper atmosphere by reflecting incoming solar energy at the top of the atmosphere but it also warms the lower atmosphere by absorbing energy that was reflected at the earth’s surface. It carries minerals and nutrients that fertilise both algae in the ocean and vegetation on the continents but it also spreads harmful pathogens and viruses that cause diseases.

    We are only starting to understand all the roles that mineral dust plays in the Earth’s system and therefore the study of wind-blown sediments is both exciting and necessary.

    Work description and requirements:

    Since 2013, two dust-collecting masts have been collecting dust in Iwik on the Mauritanian coast on a monthly resolution using passive dust collectors. Two sets of samples (collected in 2017 and 2018, N=400) are ready to be analysed.

    Of the material, we want to know the fluxes (micro balance), particle-size distributions (Coulter LS13320) and bulk chemistry (XRF scanner) as well as physical properties (SEM).

    Requirements:

    Above mentioned techniques will be taught at NIOZ but an affinity with / background in sedimentology is a plus.

    Time period: not further specified

    Supervisors:

    Jan-Berend Stuut (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ja...

    João Trabucho Alexandre (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/JPTrabuchoAlexandre

  • Project 6: Analysis of metals incorporated in carbonate shells

    Analysis of metals incorporated in carbonate shells

    Background:
    Carbonate shells can be used as archives of past climates since some shells grow relatively fast and record ambient sea-water conditions in the layers of calcium carbonate that they grow. However, there are only few modern examples of individual species growing on different substrates naturally.

    To test how different metals are incorporated into the carbonate shells of gooseneck barnacles, we sampled a moored dust-collecting buoy in the eastern tropical Atlantic. Buoy Carmen was tethered from an anchor at a depth of 4200m at about 21oN/21oW between August 2017 and November 2018. In that year, an enormous load of gooseneck barnacles grew on the submerged parts of the float and on different parts of plastic and metal parts on and below the buoy.

    We have sampled various of these animals from different parts of the buoy, e.g., the yellow plastic floats, an Al-anode, a steel anchor chain and a piece of rope. Using a micro-drill, different growth stages of the barnacles can be sampled and measured for (trace) elements on the ICP-MS. A comparison can be made to study during which parts of the barnacles’ growth metals were incorporated into the shells.

    Requirements:

    For this project we are looking for a motivated student with a background in geochemistry and experience with working in a clean-lab.

    Should you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us: Jan-Berend Stuut
    (jbstuut@nioz.nl), Martin Ziegler (m.ziegler@uu.nl).

    Time period: not further specified

    Supervisors:

    Jan-Berend Stuut (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ja...

    Martin Ziegler (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/MZiegler

  • Project 7: Food web structure of deep-sea sponge grounds – a stable isotope and biomarker approach

    Food web structure of deep-sea sponge grounds – a stable isotope and biomarker approach

    Background:
    Sponges are ecosystem engineers that mediate energy and matter transfer in deep-sea food webs and that host various microbes involved in biogeochemical cycles. Deep sea sponge grounds, found in all oceans, form complex habitats and host high biodiversity, but information on the functioning of these deep sea sponge grounds is scarce.
    Within the EU sponGES project, we are studying the biogeochemical (carbon and nitrogen) cycling and food web interactions in Atlantic sponge ground ecosystems using a variety of methods, including stable isotopes. Stable isotope analysis of C and N are commonly used to study food web functioning.
    Stable isotope samples of potential food sources, sponges and associated fauna from different sponge ground ecosystems have been collected by NIOZ supervisors.

    Work description:
    The student will help with isotope analysis from a specific North-Atlantic sponge ground (Barents Sea) ecosystem. The student tasks are sample preparations (grinding, weighing) of food web compartments for stable isotope analysis of C and N. Bulk isotope measurements will be carried out at NIOZ. The analysis can be continued with compound-specific isotope analysis of fatty acid biomarkers, done at Utrecht University. The student will help with sample preparations and measurements on GC-IRMS. In cooperation with supervisors, data will be analysed.

    Requirements:
    We expect the student to be interested in ecology and organic (geo)chemistry. The student should be able to work independently in the laboratory, lab experience is beneficial.

    Time period: Start mid-July 2019 (or later)

    Supervisors:

    Ulrike Hanz (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ul...

    Furu Mienis (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/fu...

    Anna de Kluijver (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/AdeKluijver

  • Project 8: Preparation of samples for metagenomics (POMVIDDY Project)

    Preparation of samples for metagenomics (POMVIDDY Project)

    Background:
    The POMVIDDY project aims to unveil the diversity and ecology of marine viruses in polar marine environments. During polar fieldwork, we collected samples for molecular analysis of polar viral populations and their hosts.

    Work description:
    We are looking for a highly motivated master or bachelor student to contribute towards the preparation of samples for metagenomics (DNA extraction from viral and microbial samples). Within the two month work-experience-project, the student will have the opportunity to learn how samples for metagenomics analysis are processed (first hand DNA extraction and quantification), while at the same time being part of a team of PhD students working on polar marine microbiology.

    Required background knowledge/skills:
    Molecular biology, marine microbial ecology, keen to scientifically grow, work precisely, learn/improve on technical methodologies

    Time period: Start preferably before June/July, but later is also possible

    Supervisors:

    Corina Brussaard (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/co...

    Henk Bolhuis (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/he...

    Bas Dutilh (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/BEDutilh

  • Project 9: Do cyanobacteria symbionts extend the photosynthetic active radiation range of the Azolla ferns?

    Do cyanobacteria symbionts extend the photosynthetic active radiation range of the Azolla ferns?

    Background:
    Azolla ferns are presumed to have withdrawn much CO2 when covering the Arctic surface lake during the Eocene. Growth of ferns thriving in NL today is enhanced by FarRed light, a light quality abundant in the poles. Such growth response is unusual because plants generally cannot use FarRed light for photosynthesis and reflect it as a result. This handicap is a general rule also for cyanobacteria but with exceptions: some strains have been shown to thrive in FarRed light only and exhibit typical adaptations including the FARLiP operon. We propose to investigate whether cyanobacteria thriving in the leaf cavities of the ferns

    1. exhibit features of FarRed light adaptation recently found in cyanobacteria across taxa bioinformatics). Find out whether the FaRLiP operon is present in the known genomes of N. azollae from 8 different species of ferns. Using the Dual RNAseq data, find out whether features of the FarRed light adaptation are expressed and their expression enhanced by FarRed light.

    2. have light capturing pigments absorbing in the Far red range (biochemistry) by extracting and identifying pigments and measure their absorption. Control will be ferns without the cyanobacterial symbionts available at the UU lab.

    In addition, since N. azollae cannot be cultivated outside the fern, we will study closely related Nostoc species from coastal microbial mats (Schiermonnikoog) and from the arctic region (Tromsø, Norway) and general marine cyanobacteria for their ability to

    3. grow and photosynthesize (NIOZ lab) and fix nitrogen (UU lab) under FarRed light conditions.

    Requirements:

    Motivation. Skills in both molecular biology/biochemistry and bioinformatics.

    Time period: part-time over the second semester

    Supervisors:

    Henk Bolhuis (NIOZ Texel)https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/he...,

    Henriette Schluepmann (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/HSchlupmann

  • Project 10: Biogeography of Woeseiales, an ubiquitous group of marine benthic gammaproteobacteria

    Biogeography of Woeseiales, an ubiquitous group of marine benthic gammaproteobacteria

    Background:
    The gammaproteobacterial order Woeseiales is a core taxon of the microbiome of seafloor surface sediments (0-2 cm below seafloor surface). In spite of its wide distribution and abundance (ca. 1-10% of all cells in oxic marine sediments), very little is known about the biology and ecology of this highly diverse bacterial clade, which includes for example the chemoorganoheterotroph Woeseia oceani XK5 and yet-uncultivated sulfur-oxidizing autotrophs. Preliminary investigations of the biogeography of these bacteria suggest that taxa within Woeseiales have environmental preferences for the deep-sea, the marine littoral zone, or saline soils. In order to further evaluate the macrogeographic distribution patterns and environmental preferences of distinct taxa within Woeseiales, our research team is conducting a survey of microbial assemblages in sediments collected from approx. 700 sites, which cover most ocean basins (i.e. over a broad range of latitudes and longitudes) and a variety of benthic environments (e.g. abyssal plains, hydrothermal vents, methane seeps, hydrocarbon-polluted sites…etc).

    Work description:
    The successful applicant will be involved in the collection, curation, sorting and mapping of environmental data available for the sampling sites. The student will also have the opportunity to get an introduction to high-throughput 16S rRNA gene tag data analyses (e.g. swarm, deblur).

    Job requirements:
    • Good command of spoken and written English is mandatory
    • Good organizational skills are required
    • Basic knowledge in microbiology and ecology is desired
    • Some experience in data handling and R is an advantage

    Time period: flexible - to be agreed with the student

    Supervisors:

    Pierre Offre (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/pi...

    Alena di Primio (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/al...

    Bas Dutilh (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/BEDutilh

  • Project 11: Processing/converting of ocean data for Open Access

    Processing/converting of ocean data for Open Access

    Background:
    Both NWO and the European Union support and encourage Open Data Access. For data to be available to the community it has to be submitted to Data Centers in a file format data that is also generally available and includes meta data necessary to interpret the data. In this project you will take processed data and convert it to the Data Center format so that it is ready for submission.

    Work description:
    The NIOZ data set consist of current meter and hydrographic data from moorings in the Subpolar North Atlantic Ocean. The work will consist of adapting and updating scripts that can be used to convert the data as well as the data conversion itself.
    The UU data set consists of the trajectories of virtual plastic particles, from simulations with the oceanparcels.org framework. The work will consist of organizing and writing documentation for published experiments, in collaboration with the topios.org team.

    Requirements:
    Experience with Matlab and/or Python

    Time period: sometime from October 2019 onwards

    Supervisors:

    Femke de Jong (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/fe...

    Erik van Sebille (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/EvanSebille

  • Project 12: Automatisation and quality control of NIOZ jetty data

    Automatisation and quality control of NIOZ jetty data

    Background and work description:
    In this project you will help with processing the data streams that come from the NIOZ jetty in the Marsdiep. These data streams include continuous observations of T, S, O2, PAR (underwater light climate), hyperspectral (light) and FRRf data (chlorophyll), plus discrete sample data of nutrients, primary production and phytoplankton species. NIOZ is working towards a good, automated quality control on these data so that they become available for researchers as soon as possible. Your role in this process will be to help with some of these data streams, all of which have similar automatisation requirements, but different gathering equipment and quality control.

    Requirements:
    We are looking for a student with good programming skills in bash and Python or Matlab, but who also has a feel for marine data and can contribute to the quality control process that needs to be installed.

    Time period: early summer / summer - to be discussed with the student

    Supervisors:

    Sonja van Leeuwen (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/so...

    Eric Wagemaakers (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/er...

    Johan van der Molen (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/jo...

    Leo Maas (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/LRMMaas

  • Project 13: Processing the TESO ferry data

    Processing the TESO ferry data

    Background:
    NIOZ has operated an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) on the TESO ferry crossing the Marsdiep tidal inlet for 20 years. The instrument records temperature, water depth and profiles of velocity and backscatter intensity. Although subsets of the data have been used for numerous scientific publications, the dataset has never been analysed as a whole. Also, the data cannot be made available more widely in their current form.

    This project aims at:
    1) archiving the raw data in the NIOZ Data Archiving System (DAS);
    2) applying a first level of Quality Assessment (QA), reformatting and correction of the data, and subsequent storage in an internationally recognised NetCDF format suitable for distribution, including QA flagging information;
    3) applying a tidal correction to the depth-related elements of the data;
    4) mapping the data onto standard grids (e.g., cross section, 3D grid);
    5) constructing and analysing long-term time series and/or standardised temporal averages;
    6) integrating the developed methods and scripts, as they become available, with the automated data acquisition and storage system that is under development.

    Work description:
    The work involves modifying and creating a coherent collection of Linux shell scripts, Matlab scripts and Python scripts for processing and visualising the data.

    Requirements:
    We are looking for a student with a quantitative background and affinity with programming (Matlab/Python/Linux) and data handling. Knowledge of oceanography or acoustics is an advantage. Depending on the experience of the student, a coherent subset of the aims listed above can be addressed.

    Time period: early summer / summer - to be discussed with student

    Supervisors:

    Johan van der Molen (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/jo...

    Eric Wagemaakers (NIOZ Texel), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/er...

    Leo Maas (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/LRMMaas

  • Projects 14, 15 & 16: Designing a prosperous safe Delta using innovative nature-based designs

    Designing a prosperous safe Delta using innovative nature-based designs

    Background:
    There is growing awareness that the Dutch delta is increasingly threatened by accelerating sea level rise. This means we will not only need to strengthen the current dikes, but that we also have to come up with innovative ways to keep our low-lying country prosperous and safe. A possible approach might be to create double dike systems as buffer between the sea and the land. Depending on the design of the inlet systems, the area in between two such dikes may offer promising opportunities for economic development. Choosing the most suitable locations for these double-dike systems may be essential to reduce costs to an acceptable level. The biogeomorphological development of the area between the dikes may be a key driver of how the system contributes to flood safety.

    Work description and requirements:
    We will address the above question in 3 different ways:

    Project 14) A GIS-specialist is asked to help us in optimizing the landscape-scale planning. Ideally the student has some knowledge of quaternary geology of the Holocene, but this is not a prerequisite.

    Project 15) A hands-on “tinkerer vs. knutselaar” is asked to help developing, building and testing scaled flume systems to test scaled models of the double-diked systems. Ideally the student has 2 right hands and some craftmanship plus experience in using tools.

    Project 16) A student with interest in physical processes and good quantitative feel is asked to help us doing tests with a scaled flume on how double-dike systems contribute to flood safety.

    Time period: no specific timing

    Supervisors:

    Tjeerd Bouma (NIOZ Yerseke), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/tj...

    Maarten Kleinhans (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/MGKleinhans

  • Project 17: Experimental measurements of benthos-related resuspension of sediments of contrasting environments along the Western Scheldt estuary

    Experimental measurements of benthos-related resuspension of sediments of contrasting environments along the Western Scheldt estuary

    Background:
    JdS (NIOZ-YE) and MB (UU) are both working on biogeormophological processes in estuaries. JdS is using field flumes to assess the influence of benthos on spatial and temporal patterns in erosion thresholds on contrasting tidal flats in the Western Scheldt. MB is developing a detailed biogeomorphological model that includes benthic activity to assess benthic effects on large-scale morphological development of estuaries.
    While the experiments of JdS cover a large spatial gradient, issues will likely arise with isolating the influence of benthos from the influence of physical parameters which also vary over these larger scales. Therefore, his experiments would benefit from additional erosion threshold measurements on artificially created sediment mixtures to which various benthic communities are added. The research of JdS will however primarily focus on spatial and temporal patterns rather than studying benthos-sediment interactions in detail. Therefore, it is not feasible to do these experiments by himself.
    MB will benefit from the data of these experiments as detailed measurements of benthic activity on the erosion threshold are needed to allow a detailed parameterization of benthos in the bio-morphological model. The new data set allows for a unique modelling opportunity that includes changes in species composition, seasonal and along the estuarine salinity gradient, and their effect on large-scale morphology.

    Work description:
    1) Prepare sediment cores to which the various benthic communities are introduced. This includes:

    • 3 sediment types with varying silt content that are typically found in the Western Scheldt
    • 4 benthic communities which are representative for various locations along the Western Scheldt salinity gradient + 1 control without benthos
    • 8 repetitions

    Giving a total of 120 sediment cores. The student will collect the sediment and benthos from selected tidal flats in the Western Scheldt.
    Expected duration: 2-3 weeks, ~8 field days each followed by 1 day of processing sediment / benthos for a total of ~16 working days.

    2) Subject the cores to waves in a flume at NIOZ-YE and measure 1) the velocity threshold at which sediment starts moving and 2) the velocity – sediment resuspension relation.
    Expected duration: 4-5 weeks, considering 6-7 flume runs per day (~ 1 hour each).

    The total duration, excluding drawbacks, is 6 weeks, so the student will be employed for the full duration of 2 months FTE work.

    Requirements:
    The student does not require any prior knowledge on the measurement equipment and (field)work protocols. The supervisors will provide assistance with field work and setting up the first experiments. Some experience and/or affinity with field work and setting up a well-structured dataset is however good. The student must be willing to live in Yerseke during the entire period that field work and experiments are carried out.

    Time period: ideally in July and August 2019

    Supervisors:

    Jaco de Smit (NIOZ Yerseke), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ja...

    Muriel Brückner (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/MZMBruckner

  • Project 18: Fatty acid profiles of sponges

    Fatty acid profiles of sponges

    Background:
    Sponges are ecosystem engineers that mediate energy and matter transfer in food webs and that host various symbionts involved in biogeochemical cycles. Sponges, found in all marine ecosystems, form complex habitats (sponge reefs) with high biodiversity, but the biogeochemical and ecological role of sponges is often unknown.

    Compound-specific stable isotope analysis of fatty acid biomarkers is a commonly used tool to study carbon biogeochemistry and food web interactions. Different types of organisms, such as sponges, bacteria and phytoplankton, produce distinct fatty acids. We analyse and interpret fatty acid profiles in sponges to assess their diet and microbial (symbiont) composition. However, the fatty acid profiles of sponges are inherently complex, though literature suggests that especially long fatty acids can be used to separate sponge activity from the microbial symbionts. In this project, we will therefore collectively analyse a collection of sponges from several deep, including the North-Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean) and shallow (e.g. intertidal sponges from the Oosterschelde) sponge grounds. We will separate microbial and sponge cells from the holobiont through centrifugation and analyse both fractions for their fatty acid profiles.

    Work description:
    Sample preparation, measurements and fatty acid profiling are done at Utrecht University in the organic geochemistry group. The student will be assisting with sample preparation, protocol testing and measurements on GC.

    Requirements:
    We expect the student to be interested in organic (geo)chemistry. The student should be able to work independently in the laboratory, experience with organic geochemistry is beneficial.

    Time period: From June 2019 onwards

    Supervisors:

    Dick van Oevelen (NIOZ Yerseke), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/di...

    Tanja Stratmann (NIOZ Yerseke), https://www.nioz.nl/en/about/organisation/staff/ta...

    Anna de Kluijver (UU), https://www.uu.nl/staff/AdeKluijver

 
Can I apply? How do I apply?
  1. You must be a BSc or MSc student enrolled at Utrecht University. Students from other universities are not eligible to apply.

  2. The work experience placement is extracurricular (no EC are awarded).

  3. You must be available in the time period specified in the description of the work experience placement of interest to you.

  4. Make sure that you fulfill the specific job requirements (e.g. specific lab experience, background knowledge, computer skills) if any are mentioned.

  5. Submit your application before April 1st, 2019 to NIOZ education coordinator Dörte Poszig: doerte.poszig@nioz.nl Your application must include the following:
  • a motivation letter (max. 400 words), describing your ambition to become a marine scientist and details of your current experience in the field;
  • your c.v.;
  • a selection of (max.) three projects you prefer to work in, ranked from (favourite) 1 to 3;
  • a permission to use your application files during the selection process.

In case of questions, please e-mail NIOZ education coordinator Dörte Poszig: doerte.poszig@nioz.nl.

Selection of Students

The application deadline is April 1st, 2019. All student applicants will be assessed on the basis of their grades and their motivation letter. The best ranked students will be invited for an interview with the supervisors of their selected projects. After the interview with the project supervisors, the student will be informed and in case of a positive interview, the student can start with his work experience placement.

Student Pay and Employment

Depending on the project, the placements are done full-time over the summer break, or part-time over the second semester or fall, or a combination thereof (with a maximum of 2 months FTE work). Please carefully check the descriptions of the work experience placements for the time periods. Students will be employed for at least 1 and a maximum of 4,5 working days per week, for a total maximum of 396 hrs.

The students are paid scale 1 of the CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen (€ 1,646- € 1,954 gross per month). The salary will be proportionate to hours worked by the student.

Travel between NIOZ and Utrecht beyond OV studentenkaart will be covered.