Harro Bouwmeester

Postdoctoral Researcher Mechanisms Underlying the Plant-microbiome Interaction

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 from their roots and how this affects the behavior of other organisms in the soil. Plant roots house one of the most diverse, yet vastly neglected, microbial communities on Earth. The aim of the Gravitation program, MiCRop, is to harness the genomic potential of root microbes as a new platform for improved stress resilience of future crops and sustainable food production. Working with groups at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Free University (VU), Utrecht University (UU), Wageningen University (WU) and The Netherlands Institute for Ecological Research (NIOO), you will: (1) Unlock how wild and cultivated plant species, across the plant kingdom, recruit their microbial partners to cope with environmental stress (2) Harness microbiome functions to optimise future crop resilience and performance in a changing climate.

We are seeking a postdoc candidate to investigate the mechanisms underlying the role of signaling in stress-induced changes in plant root microbiome recruitment and the stress-protective effect this change causes. From the data generated in MiCRop you will distill interesting effects, particularly in relation to phosphate shortage and/or biotic stress and investigate the mechanism underlying these effects. Examples of possible research directions are the role of biosynthetic enzymes, transcription factors, transporters and receptors in the interaction, through signaling, of the plant and their microbiome; you will use a range of approaches, such as, but not necessarily limited to, omics data analysis, bioinformatics, gene cloning and (heterologous) protein characterization, mutants, transgenics, analytical chemistry and microbiome analyses.

You are expected:

  • to study the effect of phosphate and/or biotic stress on plant root microbiome recruitment;
  • to investigate the underlying mechanisms, with an emphasis on plant signaling;
  • to collaborate with a Netherlands-wide team of PhD students, tenure trackers, data analysts and PIs on the analysis of microbiome recruitment strategies in plants;
  • to (co-)supervise PhD, Bachelor and Master students.

What do we require

  • A PhD in Biology or Plant Science;
  • experience with plant molecular biology;
  • affinity with plant metabolism and the plant microbiome;
  • affinity with (protein) biochemistry;
  • affinity with data analysis and/or bioinformatics;
  • fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 November 2021 for the duration of 12 months with a possible extension of 24 extra months upon a good evaluation. The salary, depending on relevant work experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be between €2,790 to €4,402 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

University of Amsterdam
With over 6,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 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 centred on four themes: 1) Green Life Sciences, 2) Cell & Systems Biology, 3) Neurosciences, and 4) Microbiology. Within the Research Priority Area Systems Biology several of these groups are involved in the host-microbiome interaction.

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

Dr. Lemeng Dong, Assistant professor Plant Hormone Biology group
T. + 31 (0)616431799

To apply for this job please visit www.uva.nl.