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Advertising division: IBG-2 - Plant Sciences
Reference number: 2019D-227

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The Plant Sciences Division (IBG-2) of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG) investigates the dynamics of plant processes and the interaction of plants with the environment. Plant science at Forschungszentrum Jülich plays a leading role at national and international level in the field of plant phenotyping, i.e. in the quantitative and non-invasive recording of structural and functional properties of plants important for agricultural and horticultural plant breeding and production.
This PhD position is embedded in the recently selected excellence cluster PhenoRob, where IBG-2 is leading partner. The PhD student will be embedded in the activities of this excellence cluster and will have access to a wide range of training and qualification measures that are offered by this cluster. This PhD position is part of a sub-project in PhenoRob entitled: “Putting the Soil-Root Zone into Sustainable Crop Production using Sensor Data and Analytics Algorithm”.
The aim of this PhD project is to determine the spatial temporal activity of the root system in taking up N from the soil. You will use genetic resources, root phenotyping technologies, microscopy and DNA/RNA extractions to determine the root architecture and activity of plants grown under controlled conditions and in the field.

We are offering a

PhD Position - Root Phenotyping

Your Job:

  • Develop hypothesis and design experiments
  • Conduct greenhouse experiments, and participate in joined field experiments
  • Phenotype root growth and architecture, shoot growth, and measure N and water fluxes
  • Use non-invasive root phenotyping technology at IBG-2 including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or rhizotrons in glasshouses
  • Conduct microscopy and DNA and RNA extracted for the composition of the root and microorganism metagenome and transcriptome
  • Optionally parameterize and or build models of root architecture and function using the OpenSimRoot root simulation platform
  • Collaborate with the other PhD students in the PhenoRob network, and the network as a whole
  • Writing publications and giving presentations to PhenoRob colleagues and the broader scientific community

Your Profile:

  • University degree in biology, botany, ecology, agriculture or a related field of study
  • Strong motivation for academic learning and scientific excellence
  • Enjoy working in an international and interdisciplinary context
  • Knowledge of plant nutrition, soil plant interactions, or root physiology
  • Affinity with learning and applying new technologies in research
  • Some experience with root phenotyping, microscopy, or DNA and RNA extractions
  • Good English writing and presentation skills which you want to develop further
  • Basic understanding of statistics will be a plus

Our Offer:

  • Being supervised by a multidisciplinary team of root biologists, modelers, phenotyping experts and soil scientists
  • Being primarily based at the Forschungszentrum Juelich and funded by the EXC 2070, and be part of rich student communities and supportive training programs at both institutions
  • Develop your own scientific profile in plant root physiology
  • International working environment and possibilities to present research at international conferences and network internationally, including conducting research in another lab
  • Being part of the Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” (EXC 2070) http://www.phenorob.de
  • Getting a doctoral degree from the University of Bonn
  • Additional training opportunities provided by the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the graduate school of the excellence cluster
  • Having access to outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • Funding for 4-year PhD position & research
  • Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TvöD-Bund)


Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Additional Information

The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your application via our
Online-Recruitment-System!

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference number 2019D-227: career@fz-juelich.de
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.


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