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Department of Agroecology - Entomology and Plant Pathology - Faculty: Technical Sciences

Postdoc in phytochemical and microbial regulation of plant parasitic nematodes

Deadline 1 Nov 23:59 CET

Expected start 1 Mar

  • Department of Agroecology - Entomology and Plant Pathology Forsøgsvej 1 4200 Slagelse

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Mar 2024 - 28 Feb 2026 ID: 13035

The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, Denmark, is offering a postdoctoral position in phytochemical and microbial mediated regulation of root-knot nematode infectivity, starting 01-03-2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position will be available for a 2-year period.

You will be part of a research environment focusing on mechanisms of interactions between plants and the root-associated biota, including plant parasitic nematodes and microorganisms. You will be working on the project “Phytochemical recruitment of pest suppressive root microbiomes” funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation The project aims to elucidate mechanisms behind phytochemically mediated modulation of root microbiomes and their effects on root-knot nematode infectivity. You will be involved in the design of experiments, where you will be analyzing interactions between root microbiome taxonomic and functional composition, root metabolites and root-knot nematode suppression/infectivity. You will be main responsible for the execution of experiments and the preparation of libraries for amplicon and shot-gun sequencing. Further, you will be investigating effects of microbial consortia on the gene expression in plants and nematodes. You will collaborate with our partners at University of Helsinki, who will be responsible for the root metabolomic analyses.

We expect that you will be an important part of the research environment and that you will contribute positively to the social working environment. We also expect that you will take part in our teaching activities and that you will report research results in high-impact scientific journals.

Your profile

We are searching for a highly motivated candidate who has
  • A PhD in biology, plant science, microbiology, agronomy or similar
  • Collaborative skills and ability to participate actively in teams
  • The ability to take the initiative and the motivation to pursue a scientific career
  • Documented experience in scientific writing and publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Research experience in some of the areas of phytonematology, molecular soil/plant microbiology
Further, we will prefer candidates with some of the following qualifications:
  • Teaching and supervision experience at the BSc and MSc level
  • Interest and preferably experience in developing competitive national and international research applications
  • Experience in planning and conducting controlled plant experiments
  • Experience in planning and conducting laboratory work within phytonematology, classical and molecular microbiology
  • Insight into interactions between plants, microorganisms and phytonematodes
  • Experience with high-throughput sequencing technologies, bioinformatic analyses of metabarcoding or metagenomics data, multivariate statistical analyses

Who we are

At the Department of Agroecology, our main goal is to contribute to sustainable solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems within the areas of soil, plants, animals, humans, and the environment. We want to make a difference by contributing to both fundamental knowledge generation and the attainment of sustainable production systems via innovative research, contracted policy advice, and education. We offer professional laboratories, greenhouses, semi-field, and field-scale research facilities, advanced computing capacities as well as an extensive national and international researcher network.  The department consists of eight research sections with around 270 highly dedicated employees, of which approximately 50% are scientific staff. More information can be found here.

What we offer

  • An informal and multicultural research environment with high professionalism, where accountability, commitment, helpfulness, flexibility, and close collaboration is a prerequisite solving the core tasks
  • A good social environment with activities and routines that make it possible to talk across and strengthen the inclusive relationship, and where mutual trust, respect, kindness, and professional sparring are emphasized
  • A flexible workplace with a good work-life balance
  • An exciting and varied working environment, where two days rarely resemble each other. We are often busy, and we work creatively for solutions to societal challenges
  • Subsidized preschool child care and a free education system from primary school up to university level
  • Universal health insurance as a resident of Denmark, including family members officially residing in Denmark
  • Five weeks paid holiday per year
  • In connection with childbirth: the right to have a total of 52 weeks shared maternal/paternal leave with full or partial salary pay

Place of Work

The place of work is Aarhus University, Campus Flakkebjerg, Forsøgsvej 1, 4200 Slagelse. The affiliation will be with the Department of Agroecology.
More information can be obtained from Senior researcher Mette Vestergård (mvestergard@agro.au.dk or Professor Mogens Nicolaisen (mn@agro.au.dk)

Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Questions about the position?

Mette Vestergård Madsen

Mette Vestergård Madsen Senior Researcher, Department of Agroecology - Entomology and Plant Pathology +4541593003 mvestergard@agro.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?

Nat-Tech Administrative Centre - Nat-Tech HR +4522289714 nat-tech.HR.team2@au.dk


Deadline: Wednesday 1 Nov 2023 at 23:59 CET

38,000 students

including PhD students

8,300 employees

calculated in man-years

7 billion DKK

in turnover