The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.The job
Within the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Action Doctoral Network (DN) ROOTED we are seeking for a motivated PhD candidate. ROOTED is an integrated, interdisciplinary education, training and skills development programme rolling out the next generation of Agricultural, Plant and Soil Science leaders. The EU funded ROOTED project (Root Phenotyping Integrated Educational Doctoral Network) will increase our knowledge of how plant roots interact with their environment from a physiological and phenotypic perspective. The use of artificial intelligence and deep learning will speed up image analysis and processing, resulting in greater data generation. The project will also train a new generation of multi-skilled scientists capable of innovating in the fields of plant and soil sciences, and contributing to the EU's Green deal and a Soil Deal for Europe.
The specific task of this PhD position is to investigate root associated soil structural changes in perennial crops as compared to annual crops, more specifically permanent grasslands versus agricultural crops. This will show how far and whether at all the exploration of the subsoil can be improved by perennial root systems. It will also be investigated whether this results in differences in respect to infiltration or exploitation of soil water. A shared library of root images obtained via non-destructive X-ray CT scanning of root systems in soil will be created to improve the current state-of-the-art in root image analysis.Your tasks