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Postdoctoral fellow Herb hydraulics with an emphasis on root pressure in herbaceous eudicots

We are looking for: A Postdoctoral fellow to work on: Herb hydraulics with an emphasis on root pressure in herbaceous eudicots.Hydraulic failure in plants has …

3 maanden geleden


Vondellaan, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 uur
€ 3000 - € 3950 per maand


We are looking for: A Postdoctoral fellow to work on: Herb hydraulics with an emphasis on root pressure in herbaceous eudicots.

Hydraulic failure in plants has been highlighted as one of the main causes for drought-induced plant death. Since most hydraulic research is being carried out on trees, we want to focus on herb hydraulics and test the impact of positive root pressure on the dynamics of drought-induced vascular dysfunction in stems and leaves in a family of herbaceous eudicots (Brassicaceae). To test the assumed functional role of root pressure with respect to embolism repair, we will make advantage of the novel mechanistic flow and storage model that will provide us with non-destructive, indirect measurements of root pressure using continuous measurements of sap flow and stem diameter variations, while the plants are subjected to microCT scanning to visualise dynamics of embolism formation and potential repair. The postdoc will also investigate relevant anatomical characters including ultrastructural pit features to study structure-function relationships in stems and leaves.

This postdoctoral fellow position fits within the work of Dr. Lens who explores structure-function relationships in a number of woody and herbaceous lineages. One aspect of his work investigates whether drought has driven the development of woody species during evolutionary history (for more information: https://science.naturalis.nl/en/people/scientists/frederic-lens/). The postdoc will be housed in Naturalis (Leiden, The Netherlands) where all the facilities for anatomical observations using LM, SEM and TEM are present. The hydraulic component will be carried out based on frequent lab visits to our following close collaborators: Sylvain Delzon (Bordeaux, France), Kathy Steppe (Ghent Univ., Belgium), Jan van den Bulcke and Joris van Acker (Centre for X-ray Tomography, UGTC, Ghent University, Belgium), and Marcelino del Arco (La Laguna Univ., Tenerife, Spain). At Naturalis, we are a part of the ‘Understanding Evolution’ research group led by Dr. Vincent Merckx.


The candidate must have a PhD in a relevant field (plant hydraulics) with a strong track record of publications in multidisciplinary journals. Preferably the candidate has experience with hydraulic tools, such as pressure bomb, cavitron, optical technique and microCT of stems and leaves, along with a basic knowledge of plant anatomy (stems, leaves) in order to assess structure-function relationships. Prior experience with supervision of student projects is desired. Excellent knowledge of the English language (written and verbal) is required, as well as a scientific and critical attitude, excellent time management and organizational skills, and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within the team. The candidate should have good communication skills and teaching experience is an advantage. It is expected that the successful candidate will spend time in other labs outside the Netherlands.


A contract (36 hours per week) for a period of one year, to be extended with two more years after a successful first year evaluation (3 years in total). A salary of circa € 3.000 - € 3.950,- gross per month, circa € 40.104 - € 52.803,- gross per year, depending on relevant experience. The successful candidate will be employed by Naturalis in Leiden. Naturalis Biodiversity Center promotes gender equality and wants to enhance the diversity of staff members. Feel free to contact Dr. Frederic Lens with questions about the position: frederic.lens@naturalis.nl.

Additional information

Applicants are invited to submit their application, including a cover letter and CV, along with two letters of recommendation (these need to be sent by using the Apply button by referees who have had close academic contact with the applicant) before March 10 th 2019 by using the application form.

The CV should include:

  1. a complete list of publications with IFs, number of citations and your H-index,
  2. grants obtained,
  3. invited talks, and
  4. a personal motivation letter. First interview rounds are scheduled in March 2019 (week 12, March 18th till 22nd 2019).