Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy; we therefore particularly welcome applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons are given priority where applicants are equally qualified.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Dr. Chang Ding
0341-2351412 or 0341-2351549

Prof. Dr. Lorenz Adrian

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Leipzig

Please use our online application system for your application.

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Trendence-Logo Audit

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The Geobiochemistry group of the Department Isotope Biogeochemistry offers the following thesis project

Master thesis on anaerobic ammonium oxidation (1)

Subject: Development of a stable anammox stage using planktonic anammox bacteria in a pilot-scale wastewater treatment plant

Starting from 01.09.2018 but no later than 01.11.2018

Background of research

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) is a biological process that was discovered less than 20 years ago. Mixed cultures of anammox bacteria have already been applied in wastewater treatment plants and exhibit superior nitrogen removal efficiency. We currently maintain a lab-scale continuous stirred tank reactor containing a mixed culture dominated by an anammox bacterium affiliated to “Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis”. The reactor exhibited high anammox activity and we are also in the process of sequencing the anammox bacterium. In a two-year project starting on 01.07.2018 in collaboration with a Berlin-based company specialized in wastewater treatment, we are developing techniques to improve the anammox stage of the pilot- and full-scale wastewater treatment plants
This project plans to address issues in running the anammox stage of nitrogen-removal facilities. We will apply the novel planktonic cultivation technique to the anammox stage of the pilot-scale plants. Planktonic cultivation will speed up reactor startup, and will yield high activity anammox cells as inoculum for full-scale plants.

Your tasks:

  • Operation of a two-stage pilot-scale reactor on a trailer, or a bench-top anammox-stage pilot scale reactor
  • Data acquisition and reactor performance analysis using various sensors installed on pilot reactors (nitrite, redox, pressure, etc)
  • Analysis of inhibitory effects of common wastewater components (sulfide, antibiotics, etc) on anammox activity using pressure sensor setups
  • Development of a method for storage and transportation of concentrated anammox cells while keeping their catalytic activity using Sandtrap®

Your profile:

  • Bachelor in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or similar
  • Highly motivated, independent and reliably working
  • Good command of English

We offer:

  • A close and good support
  • Suspenseful insights into the work of a leading research institute
  • Excellent technical equipment
  • Collaboration in interdisciplinary, multinational teams
  • The possibility to bring your own ideas and impulses from the very beginning