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PhD in molecular plant physiology under artificial light

PhD in molecular plant physiology under artificial light

KU Leuven, Belgium


The Department of Biosystems (BIOSYST) is looking for a motivated PhD candidate to study molecular regulation of plant developmennt under artificial light related to vertical farming.

PhD in molecular plant physiology under artificial light

The Department of Biosystems has an open PhD position in vertical farming, a state-of-the art technology with a high potential for the Flemish horticultural community. In this PhD research we will investigate the molecular regulation of plant development under artificial light.


The very high standard of horticultural produce (fruits and vegetables) grown in Flanders, has been achieved by many years of experience and a continuous eager to innovate. In order to meet the increasing demand for high quality food products, vertical farming is one of the upcoming innovations in the horticultural sector. A successful vertical farm will be able to produce more and better quality products while consuming less energy, compared to conventional greenhouse facilities. One of the main challenges in vertical farming is replacing the sunlight by artificial light. This PhD project will focus on understanding the needs of different leafy vegetable crops with respect to light requirements, and optimizing light spectra suitable for vertical farms. Plant yield, quality and storability are the main criteria that will be used to optimize artificial irradiation. Furthermore, the PhD candidate will explore in more depth fundamental plant developmental processes under artificial light by using advanced biochemical, molecular and genetic techniques. We will also explore the effect of artificial light on disease susceptibility and resistance in leafy vegetables. Altogether, this PhD study will aim to develop new biological insights related to plant growth and defense under artificial light, to facilitate a possible future transition from conventional greenhouses towards vertical farming. 

This PhD project will train you to become a scientist who is ready for future challenges. This means that you will be conducting cutting-edge research under the close supervision of a team of experts: Prof Van de Poel (molecular plant physiology), Prof De Coninck (molecular phytopathology) and Prof Saeys (biophotonics). You are actively encouraged to guide thesis students, participate at national and international conferences and disseminate your research results in scientific publications.You will also be strongly encouraged to follow extra-curricular courses provided by the Arenberg Doctoral School in support of your broader(non-)academic training.


More information to be found here


KU Leuven, BE

Printed from on 18/01/17 06:03:09 PM

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