Postdoctoral stipend: Genomics of Heat Stress on Plant Reproductive Health

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
August 25, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Department of Plant Protection Biology

Due to climate change, plants are increasingly exposed to heat waves when flowering. This is bad news for the temperature sensitive pollen grains, as high temperatures can lead to increased pollen sterility. Interested in being part of the solution?

We are looking for a postdoc who is interested in finding the genetic basis of heat tolerant reproductive traits in wild woodland strawberries for future plant breeding programs. Read here about what it means to be at SLU on a stipend: Information scholarship holders

About the position

The post doc will be part of an ongoing project looking at the impact of heat stress on plant reproductive health (e.g. heat induced pollen sterility), mating system (e.g. ability to self-fertilize) and plant-pollinator interaction (e.g. impact of heat stress on nutritive value of pollen grains for pollinators).

The aim of this postdoc position is to identify genetic variants associated with heat stress that can be used for marker assisted selection in future breeding programs. The candidate will have at their disposal around 200 genotypes of the wild woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) that have already been collected across Europe. We propose to expose these genotypes under two different controlled environments (heat stress and control) and observe their phenotypic response. This data will then be used to perform a GWAS and/or gene expression analysis to find candidate genes related to heat stress. Hence, we are looking for a candidate with previous experience in genotypic-phenotypic association analysis. We are also looking for a candidate that feels confident to participate, in dialogue with the PI, in the final design and development of the study in addition to conducting, and analysing experiments. Other duties include writing scientific manuscripts, presenting project outcomes at seminars and workshops, and supervising bachelor or master's students as and when the opportunity arises.

Your profile

Candidates should hold a PhD in biology, ecology, plant breeding, evolutionary ecology, plant physiology, plant genomics, plant protection, bioinformatics or a similar subject. It is essential that the candidate has genomics and bioinformatics experience and is fluent in statistical analyses. Experience with lab, and common gardens in controlled environments is a merit. Feeling confident in the subjects of plant reproductive biology, mating system, quantitative genetics, and plant breeding is a plus.

We are looking for someone who is detail oriented but also passionate about science, creative and intellectually curious and enjoys scientific discussions. Excellent communication skills in both oral and written English are required. The ideal candidate feels comfortable both with independent and collaborative working styles.

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.

Due to the nature of the funding, their doctorate needs to have been granted by an institution other than SLU. Furthermore, the candidate should not have been employed in Sweden beforehand.

About us

You will be based in the Department of Plant protection Biology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, Sweden. Research efforts at the department are directed towards both fundamental and applied research. The Department of Plant protection Biology is an interdisciplinary constellation, encompassing Integrated Plant Protection, Chemical Ecology, Resistance Biology research units. You will be part of the Integrated Plant Protection Unit composed of about 15 researchers (professors, associate researchers, researchers, post docs and PhD students). The Integrated Plant Protection group aims to generate knowledge towards the development of integrated disease, pest and pollinator management practices based on conceptual theory and empirical eco-evolutionary, molecular, and genetic data that can meet the needs of current and evolving plant production systems. You will also have ample collaboration possibilities with the neighboring Plant Breeding Department. The project you will be working on is led by researcher Carolina Diller, and Prof. Johan A. Stenberg, a close collaborator.

The department offers several facilities, such as greenhouses, controlled environmental chambers (biotron), molecular and chemical labs. The campus is located in a beautiful park close to the beach reachable by a 10 min bike ride. We are also surrounded by the academically renown town of Lund, the third biggest city of Sweden, Malmö, and just a hop away across the Oresund bridge is Copenhagen. Sweden strives for its healthy work-life balance working style.

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


Alnarp, Sweden

Form of employment:

Stipend of 12 months, with the possibility of extension for an additional year depending on progress.



Start date:

Subject to negotiation, but preferably February 2025 or soon after.


Please submit your application before deadline 25 August 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

Carolina Diller


[email protected]

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