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Postdoc Position - Soil Molecular Microbial Ecology of European Grassland Systems

Postdoc Position - Soil Molecular Microbial Ecology of European Grassland Systems

Agroscope, Switzerland

 

Introduction
In the frame of a BiodivERsA network, the research project BIOINVENT targets the role of soil microbial biodiversity in supporting extensive and intensive grassland systems along a pan-European transect from Sweden to the Azores. You will use soils from this pan-European grassland-transect to address the ultimate question, whether specific soil microbial populations are capable to supplement soils of extensive systems with nutrients to support sustainable plant growth.

Tasks
- Planning field studies and sampling campaigns in Switzerland
- Sample preparation and soil DNA extraction from samples of all European partners
- Next generation sequencing (NGS) analyses of phylogenetic and functional markers of soil microbial
communities
- Bioinformatics and statistical analyses of NGS, plant-physiology and ecological data
- Writing scientific publications, presentation of results at conferences and contributing to dissemination of results to farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders

Requirements
- PhD in microbiology, microbial ecology, agronomy, soil science, or ecology
- Published experience in NGS- and bioinformatics-applications in microbial ecology
- Profound knowledge in computer-based analyses including assembly of bioinformatics pipelines and statistics
- Experience in fieldwork and planning of field studies
- Achievement-oriented, open-minded personality with a spirit for teamwork
- Good communication and writing skills. Working languages are German and English.

Organisation
Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture and nutrition run according to the principles of New Public Management. Agroscope is part of the federal administration and is attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER. It has research stations at a number of sites around Switzerland but its head office is in Bern (Liebefeld).
The project is supported by the research groups for ‘Molecular Ecology’ and ‘Grassland Systems’, thus perfectly combining the expertise required for this project. Either group has a long history in their scientific fields, including acquisition of project funding, collaborations, and scientific publication of the results from their research.
Within this project you will work on the questions on how microbial biodiversity, microbial populations and their functions differ between intensive and extensive grassland systems and how extensive grasslands may profit from nutrients provided by soil microbial populations.

We offer a stimulating work environment in a young and multidisciplinary research team as well as a close support throughout the project. Agroscope has excellent research facilities with well-equipped laboratories, greenhouses, climate chambers and sites for field experiments and field studies. You will profit from flexible working time and good employee benefits. In addition, you will have intensive exchange with the members of the pan-European BIOINVENT consortium as well as the extensive networks of the two Agroscope research groups.

Place of Work Agroscope, 8046 Zurich-Affoltern
Salary According to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation
Employment Level 100%

Application
If this challenge appeals to you and you meet the required profile, we look forward to receiving your Email application to human.resources@agroscope.admin.ch. Applications consist of a single PDF containing an
application letter, CV, copy of certificates (Ph.D., MSc & BSc) and contact information as well as Email addresses of 2 references.
For further information, please feel free to contact either Dr. Franco Widmer, Molecular Ecology, Tel. +41 58 468 7376, franco.widmer@agroscope.admin.ch or Prof. Dr. Andreas Lüscher, Grassland Systems, +41 58 468 7273, andreas.luescher@agroscope.admin.ch (Do not send applications to their e-mail addresses).

Start date: February 2017, or as agreed. Duration of the contract is 3 years

Location: 
Agroscope, CH
Deadline: 
31/12/2016

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