Postdoctoral Researcher Root Exudate Metabolomics

  • Contract
  • Anywhere

University of Amsterdam

The mission of the Plant Hormone Biology group of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment. We study how plants produce and secrete signaling molecules, particularly belowground, and how this affects the behavior of other organisms in the soil. This includes communication with nematodes and parasitic plants, and with microbial communities that have been shown to play a crucial role in the protection of plants against a range of stresses. Our research is aimed at understanding the biological relevance of this chemical communication and use it as a basis for improving resistance and harnessing the potential of beneficial root microbes resulting in improved stress resilience in crops for sustainable food production with reduced inputs. 

We are looking for a highly qualified and enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher with metabolomics expertise to strengthen our team. 

What are you going to do?

You will be working on a number of metabolomics approaches: in collaboration with Syngenta you will investigate the effect of nitrogen deficiency on the root exudate composition, using metabolomics, and the consequences of this for microbiome recruitment and its nitrogen-related functions. In addition, you will contribute to our work on potato root exudate to find relationships between metabolites and nematode resistance and our work on sorghum to discover metabolic changes related to resistance to the parasitic weed, Striga. You will be responsible for planning and execution of experiments, and sample collection and preparation, partially with support of a technician. LC-MS analysis will be done in collaboration with the Mass Spectrometry group (LC-QTOF-MS) and on our own triple-quad LC-MS (targeted analysis).

Tasks and responsibilities:
•    Organize experiments and sample/root exudate collection, sample prep and LC-MS analysis;
•    Process and analyse metabolomics data;
•    Use data analysis to find relationships between metabolic features and biological phenotypes such as

     microbiome functionality;
•    Supervise a technician, and bachelor and master students.

What do you have to offer?

You are passionate about metabolomics and its use in biological science. You feel comfortable performing data analysis but can also coordinate experimental work. You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary team and are a team player. You have good communication skills as you will be expected to discuss your results in (inter)national meetings. Finally, you are interested in interacting outside academia, for example with industrial partners. 

Your experience and profile:
•    a PhD in Analytical chemistry, Biology or Plant Science;
•    experience with LC-mass spectrometry and metabolomics, including data processing and feature identification;
•    experience with data analysis and data integration;
•    affinity with plant metabolism and the plant microbiome;
•    fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Our offer

We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of one year. Upon a good evaluation this will be extended with another 16 months. The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023 or sooner if possible.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between  € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher, scale 10 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here .

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

           T: +31620387674

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 25 July 2023.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

•    a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
•    a letter of motivation;
•    a list of publications;
•    the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department  directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.


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