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Identification of agro-ecological crop traits for designing diversified cropping systems

We are looking for an enthusiastic, practice-oriented and result-driven Post-doctoral candidate to work in the framework of a new multi-disciplinary Core-Organic project called 'Strip-cropping and recycling of waste for biodiverse and resoURce-Efficient intensive VEGetable production ...

7 maanden geleden


Bornsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


We are looking for an enthusiastic, practice-oriented and result-driven Post-doctoral candidate to work in the framework of a new multi-disciplinary Core-Organic project called 'Strip-cropping and recycling of waste for biodiverse and resoURce-Efficient intensive VEGetable production' (SureVEG), funded by NWO.
The project is motivated by the observation that demand for organic vegetables is rising rapidly but current agronomic methods often lack attention for biodiversity and soil fertility. SureVEG sets out to develop and implement new diversified, intensive organic cropping systems using strip-cropping and fertility strategies based on combined use of plant-based soil-improvers and fertilizers for improved resilience and system sustainability, local nutrient recycling and soil carbon storage. This will be achieved by:

  1. Designing and testing strip-cropping systems in vegetable producing countries at different geographical locations in Europe.
  2. Developing and testing soil-improvers and fertilizers based on pre-treated organic plant residues.
  3. Developing and testing smart technologies for management of strip-cropping systems.
The impact will be to significantly decrease the dependency on bio-pesticides and non-organic fertilizers, enhancing the positive environmental impacts on water and soil quality and landscape biodiversity, while boosting productivity of organic vegetables. The project will be executed by 12 partners from European universities and research institutes. In the Netherlands Wageningen University collaborates with the Louis Bolk Institute.
In the post-doc project you will identify interactions between species and/or varieties, and their complementarities with respect to spatial and temporal growing patterns above and below ground, resistance to pathogens, chemical traits etc. and concerning management operations of sowing, planting, green manuring, fertilization, weeding, harvest. These traits will be used to design and analyse strip cropping systems. You will manage on-farm experiments on strip cropping of different pairs of vegetables with various types of fertilizers derived from recycled organic materials. In some of the experiments use will be made of state of art robotic systems. In addition, you will head the development of a database on agro-ecological traits of vegetable crops and cover crops by the consortium, and use the database to evaluate ex-ante alternative designs of SC systems. You will gather information through review of scientific and practice-oriented literature by the consortium and by a survey among professional and hobby growers. Next to your scientific contributions, your work will feature in our teachings, co-design workshops and farmers outreach. You will work in a team of highly motivated and engaged students, staff and farmers working on diversified systems .


  • You are highly motivated to study organic diverse cropping systems and hold a PhD degree in agro-ecology, agronomy or a related field, with experience in field experimentation and quantitative analysis of results. Experience in simulation modelling and/or programming will add to your suitability for the position.
  • You derive joy and inspiration from working with farmers to find solutions.
  • You enjoy scientific writing in English and have high-quality examples that show this.
  • You have a proven ability to work in diversified teams and collaborate with a range of actors in agro-ecosystems.
  • You have a drivers licence valid for the Netherlands.


In principle this is a 24 month full time Postdoc position, which can be proportionately extended in case of a part-time contract (minimum 0.8 or full time employment). We offer you a temporary contract for 12 months, which will be extended to the full term if you perform well. Salary will be up to € 4.084 gross per month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours a week) and scale 10 of the CAO Dutch Universities. In addition, we offer a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Walter Rossing (walter.rossing@wur.nl; tel: +31 317 481 201) or Dr Dirk van Apeldoorn (dirk.vanapeldoorn@wur.nl; tel: +31 649 641 160).

For this position you can only apply online: www.wageningenur.nl/career.
Your application should include the following information:
  1. An application letter explaining your motivation and aptitude for the position.
  2. A detailed CV including personal details, academic training, work experience and publications.
You can apply before 16 February 2018


Wageningen University & Research Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

The Farming Systems Ecology (www.wageningenur.eu/fse) group focuses on the analysis and design of exemplar sustainable farming systems and foodscapes, that deliver multiple benefits to humankind, using natural processes as building blocks. We uniquely combine a strong platform of simulation models with hands-on, empirical assessments of outstanding examples of sustainable multifunctional farms and landscapes in all continents. Our multi-disciplinary team includes expertise in systems analysis, modelling, agro-ecology, agronomy, co-innovation, policy formation and immersive education.