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Position: Postdoctoral Research Officer
Institution: Bangor University
Department: School of Natural Sciences
Location: Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom
Duties: Duties will include isotope tracking, peptide library searching, plant growth trials in the laboratory and field, soil and plant analysis, participating in workshops, presenting at conferences and writing scientific papers. The researcher will work on the NASPA project to investigate the use of novel peptide products to promote nutrient use efficiency and plant defence responses in crop plants. The postdoctoral position will focus on the development of novel peptide products for agriculture, specifically for improving soil biodiversity and plant health
Requirements: PhD (or near completion) in a relevant discipline such as agriculture/agronomy, soil science, social science, environmental science, plant science, crop science or a related subject. Strong background in soil and plant science. Experience in fieldwork or laboratory mesocosm work for exploring the impact of peptides and amino acids on plant-soil functioning. Experience in the quantification of microbial function in soil (e.g. enzymes, nutrient processing rates, quantitative PCR, and metagenomics etc). Experience in the use of stable isotopes (particularly 15N, 13C) and radioisotopes (particularly 14C, 35S). Experience in soil metabolomics. Experience in the quantification of microbial activity and biomass in soil. Experience in working as part of a wider group and in the supervision of undergraduate and PhD students. Experience of working with the wider community (policymakers, regulators etc.). Proven track record as lead author of scientific research publications in peer-reviewed literature with an impact factor greater than 3.0. Experience in presenting orally research outputs in group meetings and International conferences. Good general computing competency. Good statistical skills including general statistical methods. Willingness to work out of hours and at weekends and willingness to travel. The ability to work independently to deadlines, and to take responsibility for research outcomes. Motivation and enthusiasm about the aims of the project. Experience in working as a team member as and when required. Good time-management skills, and ability to maximise personal research output. Good interpersonal and communication skills, including willingness to coordinate with others and the ability to work as part of a team. Good organisational skills in relation to research at the bench and report writing. An appreciation of the importance of Health and Safety at work. Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area
   
Text: BU01800 02-Jan-2019 Applications are invited for a one year, full-time postdoctoral researcher post working in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering with the post based in the School of Natural Sciences, Environment Centre Wales building. This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme The appointee will report directly to the academics at Bangor University and liaise with the other partner organisations to undertake collaborative research. Duties will include isotope tracking, peptide library searching, plant growth trials in the laboratory and field, soil and plant analysis, participating in workshops, presenting at conferences and writing scientific papers. Candidates should have a PhD (or near completion) in a relevant discipline such as agriculture/agronomy, soil science, social science, environmental science, plant science, crop science or a related subject. Other desirable characteristics include an understanding of European agriculture. Very occasionally the candidate should be willing to work out of hours and at weekends (e.g. to attend coordination meetings and dissemination events). Willingness to travel will also be required (e.g. to the academic partner institutions, industrial partners). An essential part of the post will be to integrate within the existing research group in the Environment Centre Wales, present at conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed academic journals. The successful candidate would be expected to commence in the role on the 1st March, 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. Committed to Equal Opportunities Overview Bangor University was established in 1884 and currently has over 11,000 students. It comprises 14 Academic Schools grouped in to 3 colleges. The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Bangor University is one of the leading centres in the UK for teaching and research in biology, environmental sciences, geography, ocean sciences, chemistry, computer science and electronic engineering. The University was awarded a Gold rating in the recent UK Teaching Excellence Framework. The college has over 2300 students and 350 teaching and support staff, and consists of three academic schools and the BioComposites Centre. The School of Natural Science (SNS) is a school within this College. SNS has a world-class reputation in research, with particular expertise in the biological sciences in molecular ecology, fisheries genetics, ancient DNA, evolutionary and conservation biology, biogeochemistry, biohydrometallurgy, plant product biochemistry and (plant) stress physiology, wetland biogeochemistry, neurophysiology of crustaceans, animal responses to stress and applied microbiology. In a broader environmental context our research interests include forest ecology and management; environmental studies and soil science; agricultural systems; agroforestry; biodiversity conservation; and tropical ecosystems. Internationally excellent research in Chemistry covers the areas of materials chemistry, chemistry at the life Sciences interface and computational and theoretical chemistry. Bangor University is a national centre of excellence in soil science. It has published over 450 journal articles on aspects of soil science in the last 20 years and is responsible for the national soil monitoring programme. It is particularly strong in soil biology and chemistry and the interactions of soils with plants, livestock and microbes. It has many long-term field experiments and well equipped laboratories for undertaking research. Bangor University is also responsible for running the training programme for the NERC-BBSRC STARS Soil Science College of Doctoral Training. The Project This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme. The researcher will work on the NASPA project to investigate the use of novel peptide products to promote nutrient use efficiency and plant defence responses in crop plants. The project is funded by the European Union under the Atlantic Area programme and involves a range of academic and commercial industry partners from Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal. The overall aim of the project is to increase sustainability within agricultural systems across Europe by: (1) Identify novel peptide formulations which have antimicrobial activity and which are not phytotoxic; (ii) Understand what regulates peptide behaviour and efficiency in soil; (iii) Understand what factors regulate peptide uptake by plants leaves and roots; (iv) undertake laboratory and field testing of the peptide products in a range of crop systems; (v) provide data to help parameterise mathematical models of peptide behaviour in plan-soil systems; and (vi) participate in workshops and dissemination events with the stakeholder community to demonstrate the benefits of these products. The project is being led by Bangor University (Dr Radek Braganca, Prof. Davey Jones and Prof Dave Chadwick) but is in direct collaboration with Aberystwyth University and a range of industry partners (e.g., Emerald Crop Science). Purpose of the Job The postdoctoral position will focus on the development of novel peptide products for agriculture, specifically for improving soil biodiversity and plant health. This project will involve the development and testing of novel peptide products for promoting nitrogen use efficiency in a range of crop plants. In addition, it will be testing peptide products which help protect commercial crops against common plant pathogens with the aim of reducing the amount of pesticides used in agriculture. The postdoctoral research position will also establish links with research groups and commercial companies located in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France. The project will utilise a combination of molecular, biochemical, physiological and modelling approaches to characterise the behaviour of peptides in the range of cropping systems Main Duties and Responsibilities • Developing experimental designs to test specific hypotheses. • To screen the literature to identify novel peptide compounds with antimicrobial properties. • To screen the literature to identify novel peptide compounds and nitrification inhibitors which either promote membrane transport activity, alter root architecture or slow nitrogen cycling in the soil. • To test peptide compounds on model plant species in the laboratory. • Undertake experiments to better understand peptide behaviour in soils. • To test novel peptide formulations under field conditions. • To evaluate the overall impact of these novel compounds on soil biodiversity and health • To provide experimental data to develop and validate mathematical models of peptide and nitrification inhibitor behaviour in soil. • To liaise with all co-investigators and members of the NASPA team and related projects. This will include working together as a team as and when required. • To interact with the industrial partners and stakeholders involved in the project (e.g. Emerald Crop Science) • To write and complete report(s) associated with the project • A proven track record of publication of scientific research publications with co-researchers in peer-reviewed literature. • To engage in proposal writing for further research in this area using the results obtained during the research. Other Duties and Responsibilities • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and career developmental activities. • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy. • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/herself and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments. • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post. Person Specification Qualifications/Training Essential A PhD (or near completion) in a relevant discipline such as agriculture/agronomy, soil science, social science, environmental science, plant science, crop science or a related subject. Desirable Experience in rhizosphere biology, plant-soil modelling or molecular ecology. Experience/Knowledge Essential Strong background in soil and plant science. Experience in fieldwork or laboratory mesocosm work for exploring the impact of peptides and amino acids on plant-soil functioning. Experience in the quantification of microbial function in soil (e.g. enzymes, nutrient processing rates, quantitative PCR, and metagenomics etc). Experience in the use of stable isotopes (particularly 15N, 13C) and radioisotopes (particularly 14C, 35S) Experience in soil metabolomics. Experience in the quantification of microbial activity and biomass in soil. Experience in working as part of a wider group and in the supervision of undergraduate and PhD students. Experience of working with the wider community (policymakers, regulators etc.) A proven track record as lead author of scientific research publications in peer-reviewed literature with an impact factor greater than 3.0. Experience in presenting orally research outputs in group meetings and International conferences. Good general computing competency. Good statistical skills including general statistical methods. Desirable Understanding of European agriculture. Experience in multivariate statistics. Experience of bioinformatics. Skills/Abilities Essential Willingness to work out of hours and at weekends and willingness to travel. The ability to work independently to deadlines, and to take responsibility for research outcomes. Motivation and enthusiasm about the aims of the project. Experience in working as a team member as and when required. Good time-management skills, and ability to maximise personal research output. Good interpersonal and communication skills, including willingness to coordinate with others and the ability to work as part of a team. Good organisational skills in relation to research at the bench and report writing. An appreciation of the importance of Health and Safety at work. Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area. General The successful applicant will be based in the Environment Centre Wales at Bangor University and suitable IT equipment will be provided. The majority of the laboratory work will be performed in newly refurbished laboratories within the School of Natural Sciences and the Environment Centre Wales. Fieldwork will be conducted at the Henfaes Experimental Station located close to Bangor University. All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact. All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements* ** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/
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