We are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow in Evolutionary Microbiology/Bioinformatics.


Our group is studying the evolution of host-adaptation in bacteria. In this particular project, we aim to explore early infections and the role of phagocytosis. The ability to feed on other organisms through phagocytosis is a crucial step in the evolution of eukaryotes, a prerequisite for food webs, multicellularity and, arguably, the acquisition of mitochondria. It also paved the way for intracellular parasitism, as some bacteria avoided digestion by their hosts and multiplied in the nutrient-rich cytoplasm.

Here, we focus on the Deep-branching Intracellular Gammaproteobacteria (DIG), a large group of related bacteria (e.g. Legionella and Francisella) with a wide variety of host-adaptation strategies. We hypothesize that the last common ancestor of DIG, appeared during eukaryogenesis, circa 2 billion years ago, and was among the first bacteria to infect eukaryotes.

To test this hypothesis, the fellow will gather a solid set of DIG genomes, reconstruct their evolutionary history, assess their metabolic potential, and identify their host-adaptation genes. The goal is to better understand the relationships between the first eukaryotes and their early invaders, thereby shedding light on eukaryogenesis, particularly on the role of phagocytosis.


Two-years post-doctoral fellowship (SEK 300 000, circa EUR 28 300, per annum), free of tax. Fellowship rules exclude candidates with a PhD from, or already employed at, the host institution (Uppsala University). The candidate should in principle have obtained their PhD at most six years before the start of the project. The candidate has to be approved by the funder. The fellowship is funded by the Carl Trygger Foundation.

Starting date: to be discussed.


  • A PhD in evolutionary biology, molecular evolution, microbiology or related topic.
  • Experience with high-throughput sequencing data, metagenomics, comparative genomics, and molecular evolution tools.
  • A documented experience of team work and collaborative projects.


  • Programming experience
  • Experience with acquiring metagenomics data


To be sent by email to lionel.guy@imbim.uu.se, latest on 14 March 2022. Applications (in one single document) must include:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Resume
  • Publication list
  • Names and contact information of two references or two letters of reference


The group is located at the Department of Medical Biochemistry Microbiology, Uppsala University. The host department is a very strong and stimulating research environment, counting over 250 researchers in over 30 groups, and is conducting world-leading research in microbiology.

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 50 000 students, 7 000 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.4 billion.


Lionel Guy, M: lionel.guy@imbim.uu.se, P: +46 18 471 42 46

Last modified: 2022-02-16