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  • Published date: January 29, 2018
    • Gent, Belgium

Job description
The Laboratory of Wood Technology, short UGent-Woodlab (www.woodlab.be), is a research team of UGent, located at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. UGent-Woodlab aims at an integrated strategy for the forestry-wood chain on a national and international level to contribute to the bio-economy. Furthermore, the team tackles climate change issues by learning from trees as archives of the past and biosensors of the present. UGent-Woodlab is internationally known for its expertise in the field of non-destructive testing with X-ray CT scanning of wood – UGent-Woodlab is member of the Ghent University Expertise Centre for X-ray CT (UGCT; www.ugct.ugent.be ). The team has put significant effort to optimize the technique for densitometrical and morphometrical analysis of tree growth.
Within the context of a recently approved project on carbon accounting of trees (XINCAST: “An X-ray view on the intra-seasonal dynamics of carbon storage in trees”), we are looking for an excellent postdoc to work on intra-seasonal wood formation and carbon storage research with X-ray CT and XRF-CT scanning for formalizing the process of imaging and interpretation. You will therefore collaborate with enthusiastic colleagues at UGent-Woodlab and at the UGCT, and will also be in contact with two research teams, respectively at the UAntwerpen (prof. Matteo Campioli) and the RMCA (Royal Museum for Central Africa, dr. ir. Hans Beeckman). Your task will be to develop suitable protocols for sample preparation, sample staining as well as software development for automated X-ray CT scanning and analysis in function of wood formation, more specifically cell enlargement and cell wall thickening, making use of micro-cores from both temperate as well as tropical species. This innovative work needs to be benchmarked against the conventional techniques, for which you will have the opportunity to get training at the RMCA with a possible research stay in Slovenia.

We offer a full-time postdoc position for a maximal period of 3 years (upon positive progress evaluation) depending on the exact status of the researcher, starting between May 1st, 2018 and September 1st, 2018 (depending on the successful candidate’s availability). The research is fundamental and innovative, and requires both programming skills as well as hands-on lab work with clear practical applications. You will join a young and enthusiastic team of researchers both at UGent-Woodlab as well as UGCT.

Profile of the candidate
• You have a PhD degree in (Bio-) Science/Engineering and have:
1. not obtained your PhD at a Belgian University
2. have not spent more than 24 months in Belgium the last three years or had any core activity (work, study, etc.) in Belgium
• You have a strong interest in wood formation, X-ray and XRF CT scanning.
• You are interested in and motivated by the research topic.
• You have excellent analytical skills.
• You are a native Dutch speaker or speak and write English fluently.
• You have good communication skills.
• You have an open mind and a multi-disciplinary attitude.
• You have an interest in working with or knowledge and experience on tree-ring analysis, wood formation and / or non-destructive imaging.
• You have experience with hands-on lab work.
• ICT / programming skills (MATLAB, Python, R) are required.

How to apply
Applications must contain the following documents (in English or Dutch):
• Short personal motivation letter mainly elaborating on your interest and experience in the specific domains mentioned above.
• One page proposal: how would you, technically, tackle the project?
• Scientific resume and diplomas.
• Detailed academic results (courses and grades).
• Relevant publications.
• Two reference contacts.

The documents should be sent to prof. dr. ir. Jan Van den Bulcke (Jan.VandenBulcke@UGent.be), with in CC prof. dr. ir. Joris Van Acker (Joris.VanAcker@UGent.be), prof. dr. ir. Matteo Campioli (matteo.campioli@uantwerpen.be) and dr. ir. Hans Beeckman (hans.beeckman@africamuseum.be) before March the 15th, 2018, 12 noon CET + 1 hour. The subject of your e-mail should be XINCAST_family name_first name.
After the first screening, suitable candidates will be invited for an interview (also possible via Skype).

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