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Research Associate in Soil and Plant Science | University of Nottingham



Soil and Plant Science

Research Associate in Soil and Plant Science | University of Nottingham

A Research Associate/Fellow position is available in experimental soil/plant science to undertake research into the impacts of soil structure and compaction on the development of wheat plants.

The project is called ‘Designing Future Wheat’ and is funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It is a collaboration between John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research, NIAB, Bristol University and the University of Nottingham (UoN).

Research Associate in Soil and Plant Science

The overarching aim of the project is to will screen existing wheat germplasm for the presence of new traits, thereby generating novel germplasm suitable for further exploitation. This particular post is focused on Work Package 1 (Increased Efficiency and Sustainability) and will investigate the genetic and environmental factors determining the ability of roots to locate soil pores and elongate to depth.

This will be achieved with a combination of laboratory and field experimentation, exploiting the genetic resources available in other work packages. We will use direct root sampling by taking cores to a depth of at least 1m, as well as indirect measurements allowing assessment of root function of mapping populations.

On contrasting wheat lines, we will image soil cores by X-ray CT, comparing root architecture with soil structure. We will explore the environmental factors determining root branching (e.g. nutrient availability, soil water and soil structure) and their effects on deep rooting and resource capture.

The project will involve active collaboration with soil physicists and plant scientists at all partners including the world-leading Hounsfield facility for X-ray CT of soil-plant systems at Sutton Bonington.

Candidates must have, or be close to completion of, a PhD in a terrestrial environmental science area, preferably involving soil science or plant science.

They must also have a high degree of competence in planning, executing and delivering controlled experimental systems and demonstrable ability to analyse, synthesize and communicate results. The ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently as required is also essential.

More information: University of Nottingham