RHEA Postdoc position | Plant monitoring and FSPM modelling in oilseed rape

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  • Published date: February 10, 2021
    • Ghent, East Flanders, Belgium

Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.
RHEA | Markers predicting optimal parental combining ability for hybrid vigor in oilseed rape (a 3-year innovative VLAIO Research and development project together with BASF Belgium)
In hybrid breeding, the major challenge is to identify female and male lines with good combining ability. The full RHEA-project will focus on identifying biomarkers and building selection models for male and female combining ability in winter oilseed rape and this for different environmental conditions. Our contribution will focus on the development of a novel functional-structural plant model (FSPM) for winter oilseed rape seedlings based on plant measurements (partly with automated plant sensors), and the assessment of its applicability to predict the impact of the environment on performance.

At least 70% of your assignment will be spent on academic research.
Planning and conducting well-designed experiments to study the dynamic interaction between winter oilseed rape seedlings and climate (light, temperature, relative humidity, CO2) in sophisticated phenotyping systems.
Measuring the growth, development and ecophysiology of the winter oilseed rape seedlings using innovative plant sensors and manual measurements (e.g., plant structure, photosynthesis, respiration, water status).
Testing and fine-tuning the applicability of the novel plant sensors and (thermal) imaging on winter oilseed rape seedlings.
Develop a novel functional-structural plant model (FSPM) for winter oilseed rape seedlings.
Follow-up, analysis and interpretation of large plant and microclimate datasets.
Synthesis of research results in internal project reports and peer-reviewed publications.
Present results during national or international conferences, seminars and workshops.
Participation in a collaborative, interdisciplinary consortium, with highly motivated researchers and company.

Diploma: Doctoral degree in Bioscience Engineering, Engineering, Physics, Biology, or an equivalent relevant degree.
You have worked no longer than 3 years as a Postdoc at a University.
Highly motivated to conduct research.
Strong interest in plant functioning, plant-climate interactions.
Strong affinity with plants.
Knowledge of FSP modelling.
Mathematical and analytical mindset.
Organizational and management skills, and problem-solving, result-oriented attitude.
Excellent communication skills in English – both orally and written.
A team player who can work independently and has good communication skills.

The candidate will work at the Laboratory of Plant Ecology (Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium) under the supervision of Prof. Kathy Steppe. The project is at the core of the lab’s mission: https://www.plantecology.ugent.be/
Datasets are obtained in sophisticated phenotyping systems at BASF (Astene or Zwijnaarde, Belgium).
We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 3 years
Your contract will start on 1/03/2021 at the earliest.
Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1.
All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers..

Apply online with this link
through the e-recruitment system before 2021-03-21. We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Kathy Steppe (Kathy.Steppe@UGent.be). Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.

Pui Yi Ng
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