Postdoctoral position in Plant Health in Relation to Microbial Influence

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
June 15, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Department of Plant Protection Biology Do you enjoy working with big data and are you intrigued by the role of

microbes in plant health? We are looking for a postdoc who is interested in fundamental research at the intersection between molecular plant pathology and microbial ecology.

About the position

The aim of this postdoctoral position is to gain new knowledge about the influence of the interplay between plant disease and other associated microbes on plant health and performance in an agriculturally relevant setting. By investigating interactions between potato and late blight disease caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans and the related beneficial oomycete Pythium oligandrum we will ask the questions: what role do pathogenic or beneficial microbes play in shaping plant microbiomes? We will investigate if P. infestans triggers systemic induced susceptibility and how P. oligandrum triggers systemic induced resistance, and what this might mean for plant health and for the evolution of the plant microbiome.

You will be part of a collegial team working at the interface of eco-molecular plant-microbe interactions. You will be responsible for designing, developing, conducting, and analysing experiments, which will include metabolomics and microbiome studies. This will include lab, controlled environment, and field experiments. Other duties include writing scientific manuscripts, presenting project outcomes at conferences and workshops and supervising bachelor or master's students as and when the opportunity arises. Support is provided by senior members of the team and a research engineer

Your profile

Candidates should hold a PhD in biology, ecology, plant pathology, molecular plant-microbe interactions, microbial ecology, bioinformatics or a similar subject. Candidates are expected to have a deep knowledge of plant-microbe interactions and to be familiar with the analysis of large data sets such as NGS or metabolomics data. Previous research experience of evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions, oomycete-plant interactions and demonstrated skills in computer programming (e.g., R) and/or the bioinformatic analysis of data such as microbiome and metabolome data are merits.

Excellent communication skills in both oral and written English are expected. The candidate must be capable of independent planning, execution and evaluation of experiments or theoretical work. As a person you are enthusiastic and responsible and have excellent collaborative skills.

As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions for junior researchers, we are primarily looking for candidates with a doctoral degree that is three years old at most.

About us

The department of plant protection biology is an interdisciplinary constellation, encompassing Integrated Plant Protection, Chemical Ecology, Resistance Biology research units, providing excellent opportunities for strong research collaboration within and outside the departmental area. Research efforts at the department are directed towards both fundamental and applied research. Applied plant protection research is carried out in collaboration with industry and focuses primarily on the development of environmentally sustainable pest and disease control strategies for agriculture and horticulture, both in Sweden and internationally. In the Integrated Plant Protection group, we aim to generate knowledge towards the development of sustainable pest and disease management solutions based on conceptual theory and empirical eco-evolutionary, molecular, and genetic data that can meet the needs of current and evolving plant production systems.

For more information about the department or division visit: Department of Plant Protection Biology Externwebben (

Read more about our benefits and working at SLU by visiting: https: // www.


Alnarp, Sweden

Form of employment:

Temporary employment 24 months, with the possibility of extension.



Start date:

Subject to negotiation.


Please submit your application before deadline 15 June 2024. You can submit your application by clicking the button below.

Union representatives:

https: // vid-rekrytering/

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person

Laura Grenville Briggs



[email protected]

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