We seek a highly motivated Postdoc to push the boundaries for development and application of engineered microorganisms for identification of microbial signals and signaling processes in soil- and rhizosphere microbiomes. In this position you will get the opportunity to apply your innovative skills within synthetic biology to design and develop microbes for in situ detection of microbial signaling molecules/secondary metabolites, and to explore their potential to reveal microbiome signaling that support plant health.
The purpose of the project is to develop new ways of in situ detection of bacterial signaling molecules that regulate expression of plant-beneficial pathways in soil- and rhizosphere microbiomes. The postdoc position is within the research group headed by Prof. Lars Jelsbak at DTU Bioengineering, and is part of our lab activities aimed at developing new technologies for better control of plant pathogens and reducing usage of chemical fungicides in agriculture. The postdoc position is funded by the Villum Foundation and is for 2 years with a starting date January 1st 2022.
Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall focus will be to develop new bacterial strains for detection of (unknown) bacterial signaling molecules within complex environments (soil and rhizosphere). Your initial focus will be on fluorescent Pseudomonas species which are widespread across soil-and rhizosphere microbiomes and express numerous plant-beneficial traits.
Your primary tasks will be to:
Lead the design, optimization and test of genetic constructs/engineered microbes for detection of bacterial signaling molecules/secondary metabolites that regulate expression of plant-beneficial pathways in soil- and rhizosphere microbiomes.
Collaborate with other microbiologist, chemists, and plant biologists for identification and functional characterization of signal molecules.
Use data generated in the project to participate in the design of testable plant protection strategies (e.g. stimulation of desirable traits in microbiomes, rational design of inoculants etc)
Supervise BSc and MSc student projects during the project period.
As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). The PhD should preferably be in the fields of Biotechnology, bioengineering or similar. We are specifically looking for a Scientist with a strong motivation for applying bacterial synthetic biology solutions to real-world problems:
You are highly motivated by working in an interdisciplinary team towards a common goal, and by turning ideas into solutions.
You are excited by the application potentials of bacterial synthetic biology in microbial ecology and sustainable agriculture.
You have good communication skills in written and spoken English.
In addition, you have:
A strong background in bacterial synthetic biology. The ideal candidate has experience with engineering of DNA-based memories, whole-cell biosensors, or other methods to sense/record biological events in living cells.
Solid laboratory skills in molecular biology and bacterial physiology.
A good understanding of microbe-microbe interactions and microbial signaling processes. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of soil- and rhizosphere microbial ecology and/or genetic modifications of important soil- and plant associated microorganisms.
An excellent track-record of scientific achievements (publications, patents, awards, grants, conference presentations, etc.).
Skills & Experience
Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.
The period of employment is 2 years from January 1st, 2022.
Further information about the position may be obtained from Professor MSO Lars Jelsbak, firstname.lastname@example.org or +45 4525 6129. Website: https://bit.ly/Jelsbak-group
You can read more about DTU Bioengineering at www.bioengineering.dtu.dk.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.