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Faucher Lab

Genetics of water-borne bacterial pathogens



PhD Position Available to Study the Interplay Between Legionella pneumophila and the Microbiome of Water Systems.

Posted by Sebastien Faucher on October 29, 2020 at 12:55 AM

One PhD position is available at McGill University, Macdonald Campus. The students will work with Dr. Sebastien Faucher in collaboration with Dr. Michèle Prévost (Polytechnique), Dr. Émilie Bédard (Polytechnique)and Dr. Étienne Robert (Polytechnique). This project is funded by the NSERC.

Legionella pneumophila (Lp) is an aquatic bacterium that thrives in natural and artificial water systems, such as cooling towers and water distribution networks. Lp can be aerosolized by such systems and transmitted to humans. After inhalation, the bacterium reaches the lungs and causes a pneumonia called Legionnaire’s disease. In water systems, Lp is found associated with biofilms and growing inside phagocytic protozoans, such as amoeba and ciliates. We have previously shown that disinfection regime has a significant impact on the resident microbiota, promoting the dominance of Pseudomonas and the absence of Legionella (Paranjape, 2020, Water Research). Growth of L. pneumophila in the water system is dependent on a complex network of microbial interactions and multiple trophic levels (Paranjape, 2020, Microbiome, in press). The goal of this project is to refine our understanding of the relationship between Lp and the microbiome of water systems and to identify the properties of the microbiome that support the growth of Lp by considering other variables including time, seasonality, and location within the water system.

The candidate will work within a multidisciplinary and dynamic research team in collaboration with several industrial partners. The candidate will perform field sampling, lab-based analysis (including metagenomics) as well as deep bioinformatic analysis.


[email protected]

Interested applicants should hold a MSc degree in microbiology, bioinformatics, or related field. Experience in molecular biology and/or bioinformatics (R, Mothur, and/or Qiime) is considered an asset. Start date: winter 2021 or spring 2021.

Please send a detailed CV, university transcripts and contact information of 2 references to Sebastien Faucher


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