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PhD Position about uptake kinetics of plant roots

03.08.2016 - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria)

We offer one 1.5-year PhD position within a topical research project that investigates the phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and zinc uptake kinetics of plant roots.

This project aims at identifying and evaluating the effect of diffusion limitations on the determination of kinetic parameters through a set of well-controlled nutrient solution experiments. Furthermore, the exact localisation of nutrient efflux, as well as nutrient influx, will be determined using recently developed, highly innovative chemical imaging techniques. The obtained information will be used in numerical simulations to clarify whether root uptake kinetics need to be explicitly parametrised in mathematical nutrient uptake simulations, or whether roots can effectively be regarded zero sinks when growing in soil.

The experimental work will include radiotracer and autoradiography studies, as well as chemical imaging based on diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT). Renowned international scientists (Dr. Phillip White, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK; Dr. Fien Degryse, University of Adelaide, Australia; Dr. Andrea Schnepf, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) participate in this project.

Research tasks include conducting the diffusion limitation and influx/efflux localisation experiments, supporting the work on numerical simulation, and publishing the results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The PhD students will be supervised by Dr. Walter Wenzel, Professor of Soil Science and Dr. Hans-Peter Kaul, Professor of Agronomy.

Questions relating to the positions should be sent to Dr. Jakob Santner: jakob.santner@boku.ac.at

Desired Qualifications
• MSc in Agriculture, Biology, Plant Sciences, Soil Science, Chemistry or related fields.
• Excellent command of English
• Experience in scientific writing
• Stress resilience, reliability
• Social- and teamwork skills
• Knowledge of the applied techniques is an asset


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