Master's student position in the group of Alexander Loy

Studying secondary metabolites of Antarctic Streptomycetes in stressed conditions

One goal of the Loy group is to explore biosynthetic potential of Antarctic soil bacteria, which is a project embedded in the MetaBac platform of the University of Vienna ( Based pn our established collection of Antarctic isolates, the thesis will focus on taxonomically novel Streptomyces species that are expected to harbour novel biosynthetic gene clusters and pathways. Many of these biosynthetic gene clusters are usually not expressed in laboratory conditions unless these microorganisms experience significant stress. 

We are looking for an enthusiastic Master’s student to join our team. Research task will be to cultivate several Streptomyces strains in different stress conditions and extract secondary metabolites that these microorganisms produce. Stressors will be of physical, chemical and biological nature; such as temperature, pH and salinity/osmotic shocks, DMSO/ethanol shock or co-cultivation with other bacterial partners in microbial consortia. Further tasks include extraction of secondary metabolites and their immediate testing for potential antimicrobial activity against bacteria and yeasts, which will be complemented by metabolomic analyses to identify any novel metabolites. Furthermore, we will associate obtained chemical information with genomic and transcriptomic data to find biosynthetic gene clusters responsible for such bioactivities. Results of this Master thesis will contribute to a publication on biosynthetic potential of Antarctic microbiota. 

Your research questions would be:

  1. Which Streptomyces isolates represent new species?
  2. Which Streptomyces isolates harbour the highest biosynthetic potential for novel secondary metabolites?
  3. Are any novel secondary metabolites produced in stress conditions?

If you are interested, please send a CV and letter of motivation to Stanislava Kralova ( or Alexander Loy ( The position is available at the earliest convenience at the Division of Microbial Ecology of the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science (CMESS).