2º Offer jobs for Ph D Student
DOCTORAL INPhINIT FELLOWSHIPS PROGRAMME – INCOMING FRAME
INFORMATION CALL 2020
PhD POSITION OFFER FORM Position
Limit Date: 04/02/2020
Project Title/ Job Position title:
How can we restrict Antibiotic Resistance Gens transport during Artificial Recharge of Aquifers?. Researcher: Benjamin Piña and Cristina Valhondo
Candidate: Biologist, Chemist, Environmental Engineering, Hydrogeologist
Area of Knowledge:· LIFE SCIENCES
Group of disciplines: LIFE SCIENCES
Human Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cellular Biology, Genomics and
Research project/ Research Group description (max. 2.000 characters)
The so-called circular economy is an emerging concept based on the principle of "closing the
life cycle" and seeks, through reuse and revaluation, to extend the value of water and energy,
minimizing generation of waste. Regarding the use of water, it is a common practice to use
effluents collected from WWTP for irrigation or aquifer replenishment. Its limitation are the
possible adverse effects on the environment and on agricultural production since there are
many biologically active compounds present in wastewater, including antibiotics (ABs), other
micropollutants and endocrine disruptors (EDs).
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a technology capable of increasing the water quality in an
efficient and economical way. Water recharge, coupled to the purification processes taking
place in the soil and subsoil, can act as a tertiary treatment by increasing the groundwater
resources with good quality water. RESTORA project aims at developing a MAR technology,
enhanced by reactive layers to renaturalize aquifer water to an optimal quality. To this end, we
will work in a pilot MAR system at the WWTPs (Palamós).
Wastewater is an important source of bacteria and viruses, which are not always fully removed
by treatment. The simultaneous presence of antibiotics and bacterial strains reinforce the
selective pressure of antibiotics on bacterial communities and the horizontal transfer of ARGs
among bacteria. As a consequence, the generation and propagation of new form of antibiotic
resistance in the environment (resistome) is facilitated.
Our research team is a multidisciplinary group made up of engineers, hydrogeologists,
chemists and biologists working in four consolidated research groups: the Hydrogeology Group
of the UPC – CSIC, the Unit of Water Quality and Subsoil of the IDAEA-CSIC, the Environmental
Toxicology Group of the IDAEA-CSIC, and the Group of Sanitary Hydrology, Economy and
Cooperation. All required facilities and equipment is available at the Institute.
Job position description (max. 2.000 characters)
Field work will consist on managing the six pilot MAR systems located at Palamós. The systems
provide an ideal frame for study recharge water quality evolution under different operational
conditions. The student will evaluate the effectiveness of the reactive barriers installed in the
recharge areas of the system to improve the performance of MAR removing EOCs, pathogens,
and ARGs. Since one of the goals of the reactive barriers is to promote the development and
diversity of the microbial community, the student will investigate the interrelation between
EOCs and ARGs with these parameters. The systems are equipped with sensors for the
continuous monitoring of oxygen, heads, conductivity, temperature, water content of the
unsaturated zone, and flow into and out of each system. The characterization of the flow and
transport parameters will be done using numerical models. In addition, the performance of
MAR systems in the removal of infectious viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria, involves the
application and optimization of sampling and concentration methods, followed by several
molecular techniques, which will allow the detection, quantification and classification of these
biological elements (nucleic acid extraction of field samples, quantitative real time PCR, 16S
PhD Fellowship in Artificial Recharge of Aquifers (MARadentro project)
The hydrogeology Group (https://h2ogeo.upc.edu/en/) offers a PhD fellowship for water quality improvement during artificial recharge of aquifers under the Water-JPI European project MARadentro (https://www.maradentro-jpi.eu/). As part of the project the candidate will collaborate with international and interdisciplinary partners.
Number of offers: 1
The goal of the thesis is to assess the water quality improvement during soil passage and to optimize the reactive barrier design in order to improve the recharged water quality regarding contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), pathogens, and toxicity.
Work tasks :
- Getting familiar with basic hydrogeological, organic chemistry and microbiology concepts, and managed aquifer recharge (MAR) operations.
- Experimental work at pilot and field scale, design of sampling campaigns, perform tracer and hydraulic tests, manage probes and sensors.
- Modelling and interpretation (conceptual and numerical).
Information about the job position:
- Location and work center: Barcelona
- Annual remuneration: 16.800€
- Type of contract: PhD Student contract
- Duration expected: 4 years
- Advisors: Cristina Valhondo and Jesus Carrera
- Training: Bachelor in Science and Master
- Languages: Spanish, English
Aspects to be valued:
- Good communication skills and group work
- Reports writing
- Driving license
- Collaboration ability
First, the requirements and merits will be valued with a maximum score of 100 points. To obtain this note, the values obtained in the following sections will be added:
- Academic degrees (specific weight 40%)
- Training and improvement (specific weight 20%)
- Selective tests and interview (specific weight 40%)
The deadline for submitting applications is January the 19th at 12:00 a.m.
Offer jobs for Ph D Student
INPhINIT “La Caixa” (https://hosts.lacaixafellowships.org/finder).
Date limit: 04/02/2020
Modeling virus dissemination in the subsurface and potential risk implications (Prof.Xavier Sanchez-Vila)
Research Project / Research Group Description:
Waterborne diseases kill. They are the cause of a large number of health issues -cholera, hepatitis, dysentery, SARS- worldwide, and cause over 2 million deaths every year, mostly children under 5. Waterborne diseases are reported worldwide, but there is a relationship between the incidence of waterborne diseases and poverty. In a vicious circle, people with little access to a reliable source of safe water, in quantity and quality, mostly in rural areas, must devote a portion of their time to fetch water for their families, sometimes seeking unsafe alternatives. As a side effect, perpetuation of gender roles, biasing access to education to young girls.
This proposal focuses on groundwater, a large source of water supply, with about half the population worldwide supplied from wells, over 70% if only rural areas are considered. Groundwater bears a number of threats (viruses, bacteria and chemicals of emerging concern).
The PhD candidate will incorporate to the Hydrogeology Research Group of UPC-CIMNE. The Hydrogeology Group is working on the characterization of permeable media by hydraulic and hydrochemical data. Applications include groundwater resources, aquifer management, study of wetlands, saltwater intrusion in the soil, and managed water resources. The methods span
all scales from the micropore to the regional, including experimental work, process
description, and numerical modeling of flow and mass transport including the reactive
component between dissolved substances and water-solid interactions.
-Job position description:
We focus here on virus transport that, in the literature are treated either as solutes or as colloids, with sophisticated approaches including a three-phase system (immobile solid, aqueous, and colloidal phases). Viruses can absorb to larger natural colloids and compete for the sites with dissolved substances, but nobody has yet explored the impact of considering
their duality colloid/particle, that may explain the large distances traveled by some viruses under specific geochemical setups. We will include here concepts such as aggregation of colloids, formation of self-colloids, and transport in a multicontinuum porous media, thus introducing new terms in the traditional virus transport equations. The solution of the new
equations will help explaining why (and when and how) wells or springs that are pathogen-free
show a sudden outbreak.
Solutions will be sought using fully meshless Lagrangian methods, as this framework allows dealing with the intrinsic natural heterogeneity of porous media and a variety of complex transport processes. These methods simulate solute transport by tracking in time a large number of particles injected into the system that interact between themselves and with the
media. The state, position, and mass of the particles are changed according to predefined relationships representing the actual processes occurring at different scales. This methodology avoids numerical difficulties such as numerical dispersion and oscillations. Multivariate statistics will be used to synthetically create geological images of aquifers including
preferential pathways that concentrate flow and drive virus (and in general pollutant)
migration, and recognized as crucial to characterize risk events.