» Jobs » Weed ecologist with University of Copenhagen, Plant & Environmental Sciences in Copenhagen, Denmark

Weed ecologist with University of Copenhagen, Plant & Environmental Sciences in Copenhagen, Denmark

Type of position Postdoctoral Scientist
Employer University of Copenhagen, Plant & Environmental Sciences
Description of Employer The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences conducts fundamental research and has a strong focus on applying basic science to solve real world challenges, primarily within the plant, soil and environmental sciences. Research and teaching cover natural resources, agriculture, biotechnology and synthetic biology from the molecular to landscape scales.
The weed ecology and evolution group investigates the eco-evolutionary processes that dictate the adaptation and persistence of weedy and invasive plants in agroecosystems. We have a gene to landscape focus using approaches from population and evolutionary genetics, evolutionary biology, plant ecology, modelling and epidemiology and crop science. Our basic research recognises that weedy plants are excellent models for studying rapid plant adaptation. We apply these insights to develop sustainable weed management strategies using eco-evolutionary principles.
Location Copenhagen, Denmark
Salary 437,435 Danish krone per year (USD 71,650)
Benefits + 17.5% pension and 25 days paid leave per year
Closing date of competition 27 June 2021
Date position available 1 November 2021
Description of duties The position is funded by a Novo Nordisk Fonden project “Basic research on ecology, evolution and sustainable management of weedy plants in agroecosystems” awarded to Professor Paul Neve. You will use combinations of field and glasshouse experiments, weed monitoring and data science/statistical modeling to explore weed-crop management interactions (weed ecology). You will work with a postdoc in evolutionary genetics and a PhD student in evolutionary ecology.

The population dynamics of agricultural weeds are driven by interacting biological, environmental and agronomic factors. New ’big data’ approaches for mapping plant populations using on-the-ground surveys and aerial mapping (UAVs), and for collecting spatio-temporal environmental and agronomic data now make it possible to study the epidemiology of weeds at field to landscape levels. These approaches allow us to address questions such as i) what are the ecological, environmental and agronomic drivers of weed population dynamics and ii) what combinations of management interventions are working to reduce weed infestations?’ You will be responsible for establishing a network of weed monitoring sites across Denmark to map the presence, abudance and management of agricultural weeds.

You will also have an opportunity to conduct research in the area of crop-weed interactions to design strategies that limit crop-weed and crop-crop competition. In particular our group is interested in the chemical ecology of plant-plant (weed-crop) interactions, the impacts of crop and weed (bio)diversity on crop-weed competition and on developing approaches that use eco-evolutionary (or Darwinian) principles to minimise negative interactions between weeds and crops in agroecosystems. The relative balance of research in epidemiology versus crop-weed interactions will depend on postholder skills and experience.

Qualifications sought The position is available for 3 years and your key tasks are:

  • Establish and manage a network of weed monitoring fields and farms in Denmark.
  • Design methodologies for field scale monitoring of weed populations and communities using state-of-the-art survey, sensing and surveillance technology.
  • Work collaboratively with farmers, agronomists and other stakeholders to gather data on farm and field management.
  • Develop modelling approaches and frameworks for weed epidemiology.
  • Conduct field, glasshouse and laboratory experiments to explore weed-crop and crop-crop competitive interactions.
  • Collaborate with other international groups working in weed ecology and epidemiology.
  • Contribute to writing scientific papers in high impact journals (as a lead- and co-author)

The post may also include performance of other duties.

Key experience and competencies:

  • PhD relevant to plant ecology or agricultural science (Essential)
  • Experience of field ecological and plant survey methods (Desirable).
  • Skills and experience in plant quantitative ecology (Desirable)
  • Demonstrated ability to integrate and analyse large data sets using statistical and data analytical software (Essential).
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and problem solve (Essential).
  • Capacity for generating novel scientific hypotheses and designing experiments to test these (Essential).
  • Previous publication record in peer-reviewed, international journals (Essential)
  • Fluent in Danish and high proficiency in written and spoken English (Desirable)
Contact for additional information Prof. Paul Neve (pbneve@plen.ku.dk)
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