PostDoc Position in Microbiomes on Plant Pathogenic Nematodes

Aarhus University



The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Slagelse, Denmark, is offering a Postdoctoral position in microbiomes on plant pathogenic nematodes, starting 01.01.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will be based at the Plant Pathology and Entomology Section, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University at Flakkebjerg, Slagelse and at Terrestrial Ecology Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. The position is available for a 2-year period.

The successful candidate will work on the project “Protective Microbiomes on Plant Pathogenic Nematodes” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project aims to characterize microbiomes, including bacteria, fungi and protists, adhering to root-knot nematodes and to determine the microbiome’s significance for nematode survival, resistance to nemato-pathogens, and plant infectivity. Further, we will identify microbiome functional genes involved in nematode protection and inhibition, respectively.

You will work experimentally with cultures of complex microbial communities and nematode cultures. You will thus design and execute nematode-microbiome interaction experiments, including microscopic assessment of nematode responses, isolation of nematodes, DNA extraction and amplification, and sample preparation for high throughput amplicon- and shotgun-sequencing. We expect you to communicate your findings in high-impact scientific journals.

We are searching for a highly motivated candidate who has

  • A PhD in biology, agronomy or similar (or is expected to obtain a PhD degree in the near future)
  • A genuine interest in complex ecological interactions
  • Collaborative skills
  • Fondness of hard work and the ambition to pursue a scientific career
  • Documented ability to write scientific articles

Further, we will prefer candidates with a majority of the following professional skills:

  • Experience with plant pathogenic nematodes
  • Technical skills for setting up microbial experiments
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Experience with high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analyses of microbial communities

Work Environment
You will be integrated in a group of leading plant pathologists and microbial ecologists involved in interdisciplinary research collaborations both nationally and internationally.

Principal supervisor will be Mette Vestergård, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University (, Flemming Ekelund, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen ( will be co-supervisor.

You can read more about the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University at and Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen at

Application Procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and Salary Range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

In your application, please refer to