The role of soil fauna in regulating the soil microbiome

The role of soil fauna in regulating the soil microbiome

Terrestrial Ecology

Contact Person:

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

Background and tasks

Soil microbes play an important role in the formation and stabilization of soil organic matter, but how soil fauna controls the microbiome is mostly overlooked. This project will help developing a mechanistic understanding of the direct impacts of different trophic interactions on microbial activity and community composition.

The student will carry out a laboratory experiment with soil fauna to determine how trophic interactions can impact the soil microbiome. The specific tasks will include:

  • Experimental setup, monitoring, and sampling
  • Laboratory analyses and fauna identification
  • Data analysis
  • Result interpretation and writing

Profile of the candidate

Education in ecology, soil science, or related fields.


  • Affinity for lab work
  • (Basic) understanding of soil ecology and microbiology
  • Scientific rigor
  • Knowledge of R is a plus

Practical information

  • Duration: 6 months, starting in January 2023 (the starting date is relatively flexible)
  • Host institute: Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, NL
  • Suitable for MSc thesis

How to apply

Interested? Send your resume and motivation letter to Dr. Justine Lejoly ( until November 21st, 2022.