The Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) aims for excellence in horticultural research and related plant, environmental and social sciences. IGZ is based in Großbeeren close to Potsdam and Berlin and is a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL). IGZ conducts strategic and international research for the sustainable production and use of vegetables, contributing to food security, human well-being and the conservation of natural resources. At IGZ, researchers from different disciplines work together on core-funded and grant-funded projects, in collaboration with national and international research partners.

For an international collaborative project, we are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated PhD student chemical ecology of plant biotic interactions (f,m,d), Reference number: 05/2023/D

Starting date: 1 April 2023. Employment will be initially for three years with prospect of a one year extension. The salary will be based on qualification and research experience according to the wage agreement TV-L, salary domain east, up to EG 13, 65% of the regular working time. The conferral of a doctorate is possible at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

The PhD student will be part of the research group “Plant Biotic Interactions”, which aims to unravel the molecular and chemical mechanisms governing interactions between plants and organisms in their environment and will work on a Czech-German collaborative DFG-research project entitled “Hybridization as a path to success? Adaptive hybridization in willows in face of biotic and abiotic pressures”.

In this project we will use Salix as a diverse and dominant key-stone plant genus to explore if the hybridization in plants is fuelled by the adaptive value of hybrids in face of biotic and abiotic selection pressures. The project will include field surveys and laboratory experiments with predators to test if the effects of chemical α- and β-diversity in hybrid chemistry mediated by infochemicals change in the multitrophic context.

Tasks include

  • in situ volatile and leaf sampling of Salix (willows) in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany
  • setting up greenhouse experiments with willow clones at IGZ
  • bioassays with insect predators and parasitoids
  • analyzing willow volatile profiles and leaf metabolomes on GC-MS and LC-MS analytical platforms
  • data processing and statistical analyses
  • sharing metabolomics/volatile data in public repositories based on FAIR Principles
  • presentations of project results at national and international conferences
  • writing scientific publications in internationally peer-reviewed journals
  • participation in workshops with the Czech and German project partners

We are looking for candidates with the following qualifications and profile

  • a master degree in biology, plant sciences or equivalent, with emphasis on chemical ecology
  • experience with field work, designing and carrying out biological experiments and/or bioassays
  • knowledge of chemical analysis on GC- or LC-MS, preferably hands-on
  • basic knowledge of statistics, preferably including multivariate statistical analyses
  • fluent in the English language, good communication skills
  • good scientific writing skills in the English language
  • a responsible personality who enjoys working in (international) teams
  • European driver license class B

We offer

  • an inspiring and dynamic research environment, including state-of-the art research facilities
  • a committed and competent team and a challenging job combining fundamental and applied plant science
  • a vibrant and international community of scientists close to Potsdam and Berlin
  • flexible and family-friendly working time models

For questions, please contact: Prof. Nicole van Dam (; phone: +49-33701 – 78 105

We encourage a healthy work-life balance. The IGZ attaches great importance to equal opportunities. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualifications. The IGZ embraces diversity in its workforce, and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief or ethnic origin.

We prefer to receive applications, including a motivation letter, your CV, copies of academic certificates, and the names and addresses of two references by email to in pdf format by 16.02.2023. Our postal address is: Personalbüro, Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Theodor-Echtermeyer-Weg 1, D-14979 Großbeeren.

Application deadline: 16.02.2023

Public job part-time (65%) temporary,

Leibniz-Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau (IGZ) e.V.

14979 Großbeeren


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