Postdoc 'Playing hide-and-seek: how interactions between soil-borne fungi and grassland plant control species coexistence'

Postdoc 'Playing hide-and-seek: how interactions between soil-borne fungi and grassland plant control species coexistence'

Published Deadline Location
21 Jan 13 Feb Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore.

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Nowadays, there is great concern about the worldwide decline in biodiversity and the consequences for ecosystem services. The key to understanding biodiversity and ecosystem services lies where the worlds of plants and soil meet: the rhizosphere, arguably the most dynamic compartment of any terrestrial ecosystem. Recently, evidence is accumulating that the interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens are essential for the maintenance of biodiversity.

In this project, you are collaborating in the VIDI team to reveal the functional interactions between pathogenic soil-borne fungi, their antagonists and plant species in grassland biodiversity experiments. You will be responsible for running an experiment with so-called 'trap plants' to elucidate the interactions between plants, soil-borne pathogens and their antagonists in plant communities that differ in plant species richness and community composition. Next to running the experiment, you will perform high-throughput molecular analyses of the fungal, bacterial and protist communities in the roots, analyse and interpret the data and report your findings in scientific journals.

In our team, we link the strengths of ecology (i.e. large experiments involving multiple species) with those of soil microbiology and phytopathology (i.e. detailed knowledge of life history strategies, behaviour and identity of fungal pathogens). The ultimate goal of the project is to translate the insights from natural grasslands to agricultural systems, where reduced pesticide inputs require improved design of intercropping systems with regard to soil-borne disease suppression.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

  • a PhD degree in biology or (microbial) ecology;
  • experience with next generation sequencing techniques, including running bioinformatics pipelines and ecological interpretation of data;
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • experience with field experiments,
  • ability to work independently but also a great teammate in an environment where results are important and providing feedback is daily practice;
  • experience with supervision of PhD students and working in collaborative research projects would be assets.

Conditions of employment

A challenging position for 14 months with, depending on you experience, a competitive salary to a maximum of € 4.274,- for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 10).
In addition, we offer:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an efficient balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an ideal working environment. Our campus is an inspiring, green place to work, and has been selected as the most sustainable campus in the world multiple times. Besides that, we have an impressive ranking in several fields, with a #1 ranking for environmental science, ecology and agriculture, as well as very strong rankings in other fields. Finally, as for education, Wageningen University has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 15th consecutive time.

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Nine specialized research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,000 students, it is one of the leading organizations in its domain worldwide. A coordinated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the outstanding approach of Wageningen.

The Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation (PEN) group seeks to understand biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics in a world that faces growing anthropogenic pressures. A major research theme is understanding the processes underlying positive effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Ground breaking ecological research requires an interdisciplinary approach, bridging different levels of biological organization - from small-scale plant fungal interactions to ecosystem functioning.

The current postdoc position complements a NWO-VIDI grant and will be embedded in the root ecology section of PEN. The project will benefit from close collaboration with the Microbial Ecology group from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO). PEN is part of the department of Environmental Sciences (ESG) of Wageningen University and Research. ESG provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment: biodiverse systems, water, sustainable land management, green cities.Equal opportunities employer We encourage applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We believe that a diverse and inclusive work environment makes us a more relevant, more competitive, and more resilient organization.

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 588081

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer

Location

Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps