PhD - soil microbes, crop resistance and biological control of insects

Rhizosphere bacteria are known to promote plant growth and induce systemic resistance to insect herbivores. This project will investigate whether the introduction of insect rest-stream materials, that are known to be colonized by particular rhizosphere ...

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Arbeidsvoorwaarden

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

Functieomschrijving

Rhizosphere bacteria are known to promote plant growth and induce systemic resistance to insect herbivores. This project will investigate whether the introduction of insect rest-stream materials, that are known to be colonized by particular rhizosphere bacteria, can induce resistance in aboveground plant tissues and enhance the attack of shoot-feeding insects by their antagonists such as parasitic wasps. The addition of an insect-derived rest-stream, shown to selectively enhance beneficial rhizosphere bacteria in the natural microbial community may provide a durable improvement of the rhizosphere microbial community with effects on plant resistance to insect pests. The research includes the assessment of plant growth, induction of resistance and behavioural effects on biological control agents, including underlying (molecular) mechanisms.

This research will be carried out within the NWO financed project entitled 'Closing the loop: exploiting sustainable insect production to improve soil, crop and animal health' in which soil ecologists, economists and entomologists collaborate.

Functie-eisen

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled PhD candidate who can work in a multidisciplinary team in a collaborative spirit.

You have:

  • An MSc degree in Biology, Plant Sciences or a related discipline.
  • Proven interest in species interactions at organismal and molecular levels.
  • Experience with experimental research on insects.
  • Excellent research skills.
  • Experience with statistical data analysis.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work in an multidisciplinary team.
  • Proficient in English, written and spoken.
  • Organizational and communication skills.
Within the Laboratory of Entomology, PhD students are encouraged to supervise MSc thesis students when such opportunities arise.

Conditions

We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2222,- in the first year rising to € 2840,- per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the Laboratory of Entomology in Wageningen.

Additional information

Information on the research: Prof. Marcel Dicke (marcel.dicke@wur.nl) or Prof. Joop van Loon (joop.vanloon@wur.nl)
Information on the selection procedure: Mrs. Dorien Wissink (dorien.wissink@wur.nl).

You can apply up and until 1 February, 2018 For this position you can only apply on line: www.wageningenur.nl/career

Don't email your application directly to the people mentioned above but use the website to apply. Stuur uw sollicitatie niet naar de genoemde contactpersoon, maar solliciteer via de website.

Bedrijfsomschrijving

We have a vacancy for PhD position 'Soil microbes to enhance crop resistance and biological control of insect pests'. The position is embedded in the Laboratory of Entomology of Wageningen University with close collaboration with the Business Economics (BEC) group of Wageningen University and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). The research team of the Laboratory of Entomology consists of ambitious scientists and we aim at a multidisciplinary approach from cellular to community level to unravel biological phenomena underlying the functioning of plant-insect communities, insect vectored diseases, insect neurobiology and insects as food and feed. The Laboratory of Entomology is part of the Plant Sciences Group of the Wageningen University and Research Centre.

Wageningen University and Research Centre Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and 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, 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need. For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at www.jobsat.wur.nl.   

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