We are looking for
We are seeking an enthusiastic researcher to work on modelling three-dimensional plant growth and development in a greenhouse setting, and applying it to improve processes in agriculture and food production.
Within the framework of a new research project that aims to develop a digital twin of tomato crops in a greenhouse environment, the aim of this postdoc position is to design and set-up a 3D simulation model of a greenhouse tomato crop based on existing models, integrating existing plant and greenhouse models. Ultimately, this should lead to a functional digital twin of a tomato crop. This twin uses a continuous stream of information on greenhouse climate data as well as plant data as input. It provides yield, resource use (e.g. energy, water), and economic profit as output, which is used to control the greenhouse environment of the real crop as well as support decisions on crop management.
The research challenge
So-called functional-structural plant (FSP) models represent the shape, architecture, and function of a plant, and can predict future growth. Currently, FSP models developed for tomato represent plant architecture statically without considering growth and development, and their interaction with the environment that drives their growth and development.
Current models need to be extended with ecophysiological processes governing growth and development taken from FSP models developed for other plant species, as well as from traditional crop models for tomato. These processes include leaf traits related to light absorption, photosynthesis and growth; plant development in terms of leaf growth, flower and fruit production; and modification of the plant architecture and the consequences for plant growth and development. Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses will need to be run on all model parameters to inform phenotyping efforts aimed to obtain the relevant plant parameters.
The emerging plant model will be integrated with a greenhouse climate model, such that the plant model takes the inputs from the greenhouse climate model and the interaction between tomato plant growth and greenhouse climate can be simulated.
In the project, you will work within a multi-disciplinary team consisting of plant scientists, computer vision scientists, engineers working on greenhouse control, and specialists in artificial intelligence.
- You hold a PhD and a track record in the area of plant growth modelling.
- You have experience or interest in working with plants and their physiology.
- You are an independent researcher with excellent project management skills.
- You enjoy the interaction, communication and collaboration with other researchers in an inter-disciplinary team.
- You have interest in the application of developed technologies to improve agriculture.
- You have good oral and written communication skills, with publications in top journals and conferences.
We encourage female researchers to apply.
This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
- A meaningful and challenging position with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 3.123 to a maximum of € 4.274 for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities. The job is for a period of 2 years (1 year after a positive evaluation extension for another year) at an international leading organization.
- A holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8,3% of your annual salary. A competitive salary and flexible leave/holiday plan
- A fun and excellent research team with an international reputation in crop growth modelling and crop physiology
- A collaboration within an inter-disciplinary project, with participation of different chair groups at Wageningen University and Research.
- A good academic working atmosphere and an inspiring university campus.
- A professional and personal development program
Additional information about this project can be obtained from Jochem B. Evers email: email@example.com
You can apply up to and including March 31, 2020
For this position you can only apply online: www.wur.eu/career
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With approximately 30 locations, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.
For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site.
You will be employed at the Centre of Crop Systems Analysis (CSA) at Wageningen University and Research. The emphasis of research at CSA is on improvement and innovation of plant production at various levels of integration; from genotypes to cropping systems and production chains. The group’s core expertise is the quantification of complex and often non-linear interactions between plants (or genotypes), management and the environment (G×M×E). Within the project, you will work together with an experienced team of researchers in the areas of plant growth modelling, machine vision, artificial intelligence, photosynthesis, greenhouse modelling and greenhouse climate control.