Harro Bouwmeester

Postdoctoral researcher Role of root exudate in microbiome recruitment

University of Amsterdam

The mission of the Plant Hormone Biology group is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment. We study how plants produce and secrete signaling molecules, particularly belowground, and how this affects the behavior of other organisms in the soil. Plant roots house highly diverse microbial communities that have been shown to play a crucial role in the protection of plants against a range of stresses. Our research is aimed at harnessing the potential of these root microbes for improved stress resilience in crops for sustainable food production with reduced inputs, particularly of fertiliser.

For a project on the effect of nitrogen (deficiency) on the composition of the maize root exudate and the effect of this on microbiome recruitment and its functionality, we are looking for a highly qualified and enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to strengthen our team.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to investigate the effect of nitrogen deficiency on the root exudate composition, using metabolomics, the consequences of this for microbiome recruitment, using metabarcoding, and the stress-protective effect this change causes by analysing the functions of the (changing) microbiome, using a range of approaches.

Tasks and responsibilities:
study the effect of nitrogen deficiency on the plant root exudate metabolome using metabolomics;
study the effect of nitrogen deficiency on the microbiome and its functions;
study causal relationships between metabolic and microbiome changes;
supervise a technician, and bachelor and master students.

You are passionate about biological science, particularly the role of metabolism in the communication of plants. You feel comfortable performing experimental lab work, while having an affinity for data analysis. You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary team and are a team player. You have good communication skills as you will be expected to discuss your results in (inter)national meetings. Finally, you are interested in interacting outside academia, for example with industrial partners.

Your experience and profile:
a PhD in Analytical chemistry, Biology or Plant Science;
experience with metabolomics, including data processing and feature identification;
experience with data analysis and data integration;
affinity with plant metabolism and the plant microbiome;
fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Conditions of employment
We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 7 months. Upon a good evaluation this will be extended for at least 12 months and possibly longer based on available funding. The preferred starting date is 1 November 2022.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher, scale 10 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Faculty of Science
The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:
Prof. dr. Harro Bouwmeester
T: +31620387674

Please apply here

To apply for this job email your details to h.j.bouwmeester@uva.nl