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Post Doc position: Soil-plant-insect interactions

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
04 juni 2019
18 juni 2019

Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science and the Institute of Biology are looking for a

Post Doc position: Soil-plant-insect interactions

Project description
Can we control invasive plant species combining the use of herbivorous insects and the manipulation of soil communities? And how do these groups of organisms affect each other via the chemistry of the plant? These questions are central in the research project of the Post Doc position. The project targets common ragwort in Europe. The plant is a worldwide toxic and invasive weed, and a model organism in ecology. Both weed control methods are new to Europe.

Key responsibilities
As researcher, you will be responsible for experiments with common ragwort, several insect herbivores, and soil communities in climate rooms and the field. Your key tasks include:

  • Designing and conducting experiments;
  • Biochemical analysis of the plants, supported by the Natural Products Laboratory;
  • Statistical analysis of experimental and biochemical data;
  • Publishing scientific papers;
  • Presenting the results at scientific meetings;
  • Assess potential applications for the control of common ragwort in practice with stakeholders.

There are possibly opportunities to also play a role in applied research on the biological control of invasive weeds, in collaboration with the international not-for-profit organization CABI and Koppert B.V., an international company leading in biological pest control.

Selection criteria

  • A PhD in a relevant field, e.g. plant ecology, plant physiology, soil ecology, or entomology;
  • Able to work independently and take initiative;
  • Excellent skills in statistical data analysis in R;
  • Good in writing scientific papers;
  • An interest in the practical application of research results;
  • You must be proficient in spoken and written English and have good communication skills;
  • Proficiency in Dutch is an advantage;
  • Experience with biochemical techniques and analysis is an advantage;
  • Experience with experimental work on plants and insects is an advantage;
  • A driver license is highly recommended for the field work.

Research at our Faculty
The position is offered by Prof. Martijn Bezemer, Professor in Ecology of Plant-Microbe-Insect Interactions in the international research group of Plant Ecology and Phytochemistry. This group is known for its expertise on the ecology of common ragwort. It possesses high quality climate rooms and has experimental fields at its disposal. The associated Natural Products Laboratory offers all facilities and equipment for biochemical analysis. The Post Doc position will closely collaborate with Dr. Suzanne Lommen.

De group is part of the Institute of Biology (IBL), which is positioned in the Faculty of Sciences. The IBL performs top quality fundamental and strategic research and provides teaching at the BSc and MSc level in the broad field of biology. The Institute is organized in the clusters Animal Sciences & Health, Plant Sciences & Natural Products, and Microbial Biotechnology & Health and possesses the core facilities Genomics and Bio-IT, Visualization and Metabolomics. Presently, over 120 fte (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at IBL.

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,200 staff and almost 4,200 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and  http://workingat.leiden.edu/.

Terms and conditions
The position can be started from July 2019 onwards.

We offer a one year term position with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on funding and performance. The salary range is from € 2.709 to € 4.274 gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. More at: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

For more information about the IBL, please visit https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/biology. Enquiries about the position can be made to Dr. Suzanne Lommen, e-mail: s.t.e.lommen@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to sylvius@biology.leidenuniv.nl with a motivation letter, cv and the names and phone numbers of two referees, no later than June 18th 2019.

The first round of interviews will be organized on Tuesday June 25th, please  reserve this day.

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