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Investigating how microbes affect plant evolution in real-time

Biology Department

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Prof Shuqing Xu , Dr Martin Schäfer No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Munster Germany Bioinformatics Ecology Evolution Genetics Microbiology Plant Biology

About the Project

In this DFG funded project, the candidate will work together with the Plant Adaptation-in-Action group to study how herbivores and microbes affect plant evolution using an experimental evolution approach.

During the course of the project, the candidate will learn new scientific skills and methods, gain didactical proficiencies and additionally will get experience in project planning and management. The position serves the purpose to acquire a PhD degree and to facilitate a successful career development. The candidate will also join the Münster Graduate School of Evolution (MGSE,, which offers a stimulating studying environment and opportunities to get in touch with excellent researchers in the fields of biology, medicine, geosciences, mathematics, and philosophy.

Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated researcher of any nationality with the equivalent of a MSc degree in biology or related fields. The successful candidate is expected to design, conduct and analyse both field and lab experiments, with a high degree of independence. Thus a strong background in plant-microbe interactions is required. Applicants must demonstrate their experience and knowledge in working with plants and microbes, as well as skills in data analysis and statistics. Experience with fieldwork, plant-herbivore interactions, evolutionary biology and analytical chemistry are advantageous. Our group consists of people of various nationalities and teamwork is essential for all projects in the group. Therefore, excellent communication skills, as well as proficiency in spoken and written English are expected. Good knowledge in German is a plus.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognized severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions, although some restrictions related to specific project-related tasks may apply.

Applications must be in English and include:

(1) a motivation letter stating the research interests with reference to the stated requirements in no more than 2 pages,

(2) a detailed CV including academic and extracurricular achievements, as well as details of all research experience,

(3) abstracts of both the BSc and MSc thesis, and

(4) contact details of at least two referees.

Applicants should send their documents in one single PDF file to Prof. Shuqing Xu ([Email Address Removed]) with the title of “PhD position – Your name”. The application review will commence on 31st January 2020. The position will remain open until filled.

Funding Notes

German research foundation (DFG)

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