PhD student (f,m,div) in Chemical Ecology of Plant Biotic Interactions

Updated: 3 months ago

With its work, the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) contributes to a better understanding of plant systems and thus to the development of sustainable and resilient horticulture. The IGZ conducts research at the interface between plants, humans and the environment. In doing so, we address systemic and global challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change, urbanization and malnutrition. We provide scientifically sound recommendations for healthy agri-food systems and sustainable interactions with the environment. The IGZ brings together a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. Employees with different backgrounds conduct research in national and international research co-operations. The IGZ is based in Großbeeren near Potsdam and near Berlin and is a member of the Leibniz Association.

The following position is available in the Institute from 01.02.2024, limited for three years, within the DFG-funded project "Molecular Regulation and ecological consequences of chemodiversity in Solanum dulcamara”:

PhD student (f,m,div) in Chemical Ecology of Plant Biotic Interactions

Reference number: 32/2023/D

The salary will be based on qualification and research experience according to the wage agreement TV-L, up to pay scale 13, 65% of the regular working time. The conferral of a doctorate is possible at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

This position will be embedded in the research group “Plant Biotic Interactions”, which aims to unravel the molecular and chemical mechanisms governing interactions between plants and organisms in their environment. The PhD project is part of the research unit FOR 3000 "Ecology and Evolution of Intraspecific Chemodiversity in Plants" ( ) comprising nine multidisciplinary teams spread over Germany. The aim of this PhD project is to understand how root chemodiversity in Solanum dulcamara influences belowground interactions and how intra-individual chemodiversity is molecularly regulated.

Tasks include

  • designing and performing experiments with plants, insects, nematodes and beneficial fungi
  • analyzing plant metabolomes on GC-MS and LC-MS analytical platforms
  • gene expression analyses using qPCR
  • data processing and statistical analyses
  • sharing metabolomics/volatile data in public repositories based on FAIR Principles
  • presentations of project results at national and international conferences
  • writing scientific publications in internationally peer-reviewed journals
  • participation in workshops with FG 3000 project partners

We are looking for candidates with

  • a master degree in biology, plant sciences or equivalent, with emphasis on chemical ecology
  • experience with growing plants, designing and carrying out biological experiments and/or bioassays
  • experience with chemical analysis on GC- or LC-MS, preferably hands-on
  • experience with qPCR analyses
  • basic knowledge of statistics, preferably including multivariate statistical analyses
  • fluent in the English language, good communication skills
  • good scientific writing skills in the English language
  • a responsible personality who enjoys working in (international) teams

We offer

  • an inspiring and dynamic research environment, including state-of-the art research facilities
  • a committed and competent team and a challenging job combining fundamental and applied plant science
  • a vibrant and international community of scientists close to Potsdam and Berlin
  • flexible and family-friendly working time models and the possibility of mobile working (up to 50% of working time)

Further information about the IGZ can be found on the Internet at For questions, please contact: Prof. Nicole van Dam (vandam(at) ; phone: +49-33701 - 78 105).

We encourage a healthy work-life balance. The IGZ attaches great importance to equal opportunities. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualifications. The IGZ embraces diversity in its workforce, and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, world view, disability and belief or ethnic origin.

We prefer to receive applications, including a motivation letter, your CV, copies of academic certificates and the names and addresses of two references by email to bewerbung(at) in pdf format by 12.12.2023 . Our postal address is: Personalbüro, Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Theodor-Echtermeyer-Weg 1, D-14979 Großbeeren.

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