EGU logo

European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral Scientist: Bridging biochemical gradients to elucidate key processes governing root-microbiome-soil interactions

Postdoctoral Scientist: Bridging biochemical gradients to elucidate key processes governing root-microbiome-soil interactions


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ Permoserstraße 15 / 04318 Leipzig / Germany

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ Leipzig, Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry led by Dr. Hans Richnow, invites applications for a scientist position (m/f) within the DFG-funded priority program (PP) “Rhizosphere Spatiotemporal Organization – a key to Rhizosphere functions”. The scientific work will be carried out within the specific project entitled “Bridging biochemical gradients to elucidate key processes governing root-microbiome-soil interactions”. The focus of the project is to determine the factors governing root-microbiome-soil interactions. We aim to visualize chemical gradients in the rhizosphere by means of stable isotopes as tracers and correlative microscopy at various scales with respect to root organization and the associated microbiome. Specifically, C, N, P and micronutrients (B) will be visualized and quantified at scales ranging from a cm level, representative for the root in a soil matrix, to a sub μm level representing the habitat of a single microbial cell in a biofilm interacting with soil matrix or the surface of a root or root hair.


Leipzig, Germany


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Soil System Sciences (SSS)

Full time


50 - 54 € / Year,

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

29 December 2018

Job description

Postdoctoral Scientist (m/f)
Anticipated starting date – as early as possible in 2019, can be discussed.
Working time: 100% (39 hours per week), limited to three years
Your tasks:

Sampling & sample preparation of rhizosphere and soil samples for various correlative microscopic and micro-analytical analyses Stable isotope labelling experiments: planning and implementation Laser-Ablation-ICP-MS experiments: planning, data processing & interpretation ToF-SIMS & NanoSIMS experiments: planning, data processing & interpretation Correlation of 2D light-, electron and helium-ion micrographs and chemical maps with 3D X-ray tomography data Communication of the obtained results at project meetings and international conferences Publication of results in high impact peer-reviewed journals

Your profile:

Highly motivated and independent scientist Experience in plant physiology, rhizosphere/soil biochemistry and/or microbiology Ideally experienced in sample preparation for microscopy e.g. resin embedding of soil and/or (micro-) biological samples, ultra-microtomy, cryo- and/or chemical fixation techniques i. e. high-pressure freezing, plunge freezing, freeze-substitution, freeze-drying Desired experience in sample analysis with imaging techniques e.g. SEM, TEM, confocal Raman and fluorescence microscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, data processing and interpretation Excellent scientific writing and oral communication skills Motivated to work in an international team PhD in soil science, plant physiology, biochemistry or microbiology

We offer:

Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams and excellent links with national and international research networks A vibrant region with a high quality of life and a wide cultural offering for a balance between family and professional life Interesting career opportunities and an extensive range of training and further education courses Remuneration up to TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 including attractive public-sector social security benefits

How to apply

Please apply using the recruitment system of the UFZ (see below)