Postdoc position in the DFF project: Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley

Updated: 26 days ago
Deadline: 30 Sep 2020

We offer a 2-year postdoc position to a Computational biologist/Bioinformatician in the DFF-FNU project: Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley. The project is a collaboration between Department of Biology (BIO), Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, GLOBE Institute (Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate), and Department Agroecology (AGRO), Aarhus University. The Post Doc applicant candidate will be part time on GLOBE institute and part time on BIO and should expect tight collaboration with research activities at all four institutions. 

Further information about the project on:

Rute de Fonseca (Globe Institute) will be main responsible. Flemming Ekelund (BIO), Kristian Holst Laursen (PLEN), and Mette Vestergård (AGRO) will be co-responsible.

The position is open from 1 January 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description
The position is available for a 2-year period and your key tasks as a Post Doc in the project is:
•    To manage and carry through your research project
•    Write scientific papers and co-author papers with other project participants
•    Dissemination of your results at international meetings and possibly via teaching

Area of research
Plant breeding has provided high yielding crop genotypes; still these depend on extensive and precise chemical input. Thus modern agriculture largely neglects that the rhizosphere microbiome can protect against diseases and promote plant nutrient availability and uptake. In Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley, we will assess the extent of plant-microbiome interactions between varieties of ancient as well as modern barley strains and different microbiomes under different nutrient regimes. We will investigate to which extent modern varieties have lost the ability to interact with the microbiome with focus on plant/bacteria/micro-predator interactions. We expect that multi-element plant tissue analyses, combined with sequencing of the root/leaf transcriptome, will reveal genes and pathways involved in these interactions. In parallel, we will sequence the microbiome to capture the underlying microbial diversity dynamics that influence the interactions. Our results will be a significant contribution to the understanding of the role of the microbiome in plant production, and may facilitate more efficient nutrient utilization, higher disease resistance and better plant quality. 

As a postdoc in Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley you will be part of an interdisciplinary research team that jointly addresses one of the major challenges in modern biology; i.e. how to understand, link and take advantage of the relations between plants and the soil microorganisms that surround them. You will be processing multiple datasets consisting of microbiomes and transcriptomes and establish the relationship between the plant genetic background and its ability to interact with the microbiome under different stress scenarios. Dissemination of research findings via scientific articles is also a major focus point and documentation of good writing skills is important.  

We seek highly motivated individuals with (most, but not necessarily all of) the following qualifications:
1) A successful PhD in Biology, Computational Biology, Molecular Microbial Ecology, Plant Molecular Biology or a related discipline
2) Strong computational and analytical skills and experience analysing large sequencing datasets, including genomic, transcriptomic and microbiome data
3) Knowledge of Python or other scripting/programming languages is essential
4) Knowledge of R and other statistical software is preferred
5) An adequate publication record (appropriate for career stage, including first-author publications)
6) Documented ability to analyse literature input and original data and present it understandable in oral and written English
7) Collaborative skills
8) Ambition, enthusiasm and aim for a career in science

A genuine interest in soil organisms and plants and basic skills in microbiology and plant nutrition will be an advantage.

How to apply:
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. 

Please include:
1) A letter of motivation for the application with statement of research interests
2) A curriculum vitae (max 1 page)
3) List of publications
4) Copies of MSc and PhD Diplomas and transcripts - other relevant certificates, including grades
5) 1-3 reference letters (if any) 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. You can read about the recruitment process at .

Terms of salary and employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. 

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 437.843 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74.871). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 

The deadline for applications is 30th September 2020, 23:59 GMT+1. 

Applications received after the deadline, with insufficient documentation, or otherwise not complying with the above requirements will not be considered. 

For further information about this position, please contact Rute de Fonseca ( Flemming Ekelund ( Please do not post your application to these addresses.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

View or Apply

Similar Positions