The research group ‘Plant Microbe Interactions’ at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel is welcoming applications for a PhD position. We investigate fundamental questions of root microbiome biology and we want to uncover how plants benefit from their root microbiota for growth or defense. The open position is part of the Swiss-funded ERC project ‘Decoding microbiota feedbacks on plants – mifeePs’ that aims to uncover the mechanistic basis why certain plants respond with better growth to microbial feedbacks.

Your position: The research focus of this project is to uncover the genetic basis and how the maize root bacteria cooperate in metabolizing root exudates, in particular with the maize exuded bioactive benzoxazinoids. Your main research focus is to develop a novel methodology to build, index and screen mutant libraries of bacteria and thereby to decode the genetic framework of benzoxazinoid metabolism. This work is accompanied by a closely related postdoctoral project investigating metabolic cooperation of maize root bacteria using synthetic community experiments.

Your profile: We look for a talented PhD student with a strong interest in plant microbiomes. We expect excellent University grades at the MSc level. Applicants have a background in microbiology and a strong flair for bioinformatics. Additional experience in plant-microbe interactions or molecular plant biology is a nice asset but not required. We are searching a team player that is highly self-motivated and committed, with a proactive mindset and a getting-things-done attitude. Applicants are highly organized, detail-oriented and are collaborative with good communication skills and the ability to work well in an interdisciplinary and international environment. Fluency in spoken and written English is a prerequisite.

We offer you

We offer a dynamic research environment, including state-of-the-art research facilities and enthusiastic colleagues from different nationalities and scientific backgrounds. You will be enrolled at the doctoral program of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center. The position is for 4 years and the salary will be according to the University of Basel standards. The position is available from now on; start upon agreement.

Application / Contact
Please submit your complete application documents in ONE pdf including a motivation letter, a complete CV, University diplomas, ev. publication record, and contact details of two references. Applications must be uploaded to the recruiting portal. For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Klaus Schlaeppi ( Review of applications will begin in week 38, and will continue until the position is filled.

Apply now

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