PhD Researcher (m/f/x) within DN ROOTED

The Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ
March 06, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
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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
  • Monitor soil moisture in the field and determine soil hydraulic properties in the laboratory
  • Measure pore structure with X-ray computed tomography
  • Determine root density profiles and species contribution in the field
  • Statistical evaluation of rooting strategies based on various sources of input information
  • Participation in the UFZ graduate school HIGRADE
  • Publication of the results (paper, conference)
  • We offer
  • Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
  • The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application
  • Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams
  • Excellent links with national and international research networks
  • Excellent support and optimal subject-specific and general training with our HIGRADE graduate school
  • Your profile
  • Master's degree in Agriculture, Biology, Soil Science, Geoscience or related natural sciences.
  • Note: applicants must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
  • Experience with imaging techniques and statistical analysis is welcome
  • Very good skills in communication/ English language skills
  • Ability to work independently and motivated to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Good organisational skills and driver's license valid in Germany
  • From this employer

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