Application engineer position for NMR of microalgae

Dear NMR community,

An NMR application engineer position is opened between the GEPEA lab in St Nazaire and the CEISAM lab in Nantes in the field of microalgae cultivation on a diatom exsudating lipidic droplets in the medium for hydroarbons production.

For more details (see below) and dont hesitate to contact me.

With best regards



Application engineer position for NMR monitoring of microalgae cultivations

Context: Oleaginous microalgae are a source of biomass rich in oil (or triacylglycerol, TAG), an energetically dense class of molecules generated by esterification of fatty acids (FAs). FAs are carbon chains of various structures, which can be of interest to different industrial sectors, from very long-chain polyunsaturated GAs for food, health and cosmetics, to monounsaturated/saturated GAs for commodity chemistry and biofuels. Oil from algae is therefore one of the most promising renewable alternatives to fossil hydrocarbons. As part of the B BEST priority research program and equipment, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (PT) will be studied, as it is known to produce large quantities of lipids as TAGs in droplet form.

The CEISAM and GEPEA laboratories involved in B BEST have a 6-year collaboration in which they demonstrated, as part of the AMER-METAL project, that Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy gives precise access to the identity and quantity of microalgal lipids [1], thanks to high magnetic field instruments. On the other hand, compact NMR devices [2] were able to monitor the lipid production of microalgae, thanks to signal elimination from the water medium [3] during 15 days of culture by coupling a photobioreactor [4].

Objectives: The main objective will be to characterize the lipids produced by PT, using 700 MHz high-field NMR to identify the different lipid classes and chains not only in extracts, but also in the challenging whole cells in vivo. In this context, we will be implementing methods that are more resolutive, faster and more sensitive, and capable of overcoming intracellular inhomogeneities. In addition, the high repeatability of NMR makes it a tool of choice for quantifying identified lipids in mixtures. Secondly, we will evaluate the performance of an 80 MHz to validate this device for identifying and quantifying PT lipids, in comparison with information obtained at higher field 700 MHz. Finally, we will be able to monitor PT cultures in real time by coupling the 80 MHz spectrometer to a photobioreactor as a culture seat.


[1] Dylan Bouillaud, these de doctorat, 2017-2020, Multiscale NMR analysis of the microalgae metabolism

[2] Castaing-Cordier, T.; Bouillaud, D.; Farjon, J.; Giraudeau, P. Recent Advances in Benchtop NMR Spectroscopy and Its Applications. In Annual Reports on NMR Spectroscopy; Academic Press, 2021.

[3] Bouillaud, D.; Heredia, V.; Castaing-Cordier, T.; Drouin, D.; Charrier, B.; Gonçalves, O.; Farjon, J.; Giraudeau, P. Benchtop Flow NMR Spectroscopy as an Online Device for the in Vivo Monitoring of Lipid Accumulation in Microalgae. Algal Research 2019, 43, 101624.

[4] Bouillaud, D.; Drouin, D.; Charrier, B.; Jacquemmoz, C.; Farjon, J.; Giraudeau, P.; Gonçalves, O. Using Benchtop NMR Spectroscopy as an Online Non-Invasive in Vivo Lipid Sensor for Microalgae Cultivated in Photobioreactors. Process Biochemistry 2020, 93, 63–68.


Environment of work : The project is being carried out in collaboration between two French institutes: CEISAM (Chimie Et Interdisciplinarité : Synthèse, Analyse, Modélisation) for the analytical development side, and the GEPEA (Environnement - Agroalimentaire) process engineering laboratory, which is developing processes for microalgae cultivation. CEISAM's MIMM team is renowned for developing solution-state techniques and applying these tools to the analysis of complex mixtures.


Profile: Candidates must hold a Master's degree in (Bio)Analytical Chemistry or Physical Chemistry and have a solid theoretical knowledge in NMR. Previous experience in this field (internship) is appreciated but not essential. The engineer will also need to be open-minded, given the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the project, carried out between two laboratories in the Nantes area. This recruitment will offer a unique opportunity to become involved in innovative developments in NMR, at the interface between spectroscopy, analytical chemistry, biology and process engineering.

This recruitment will offer a unique opportunity to an engineer to be involved in the application of high and low field NMR to a better understanding of the lipidic metabolism of microalgae. The net monthly salary is between 1,500 € and 2,000 € for up to 30 months, depending on status and skills.

Application procedure: Candidates shall submit before the 24th of June 2024 their complete Curriculum Vitae, a motivation letter as well as two recommendation letters to:

Jonathan Farjon (

Olivier Gonçalves (

-- Dr. Jonathan FARJON Directeur de Recherche, 2ième classe / Research Director, 2nd class Laboratoire CEISAM UMR CNRS 6230 Tel : 02 51 12 54 34 Mail : Nantes Université 2, chemin de la Houssinière bâtiment 22, BP 92 208 RdC, bureau : 028 44322 Nantes Cedex 3,