Scientist (m/f/d)

Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to scientifically explain causal relationships in agricultural landscapes and to provide society with a knowledge base for the sustainable use of agricultural landscapes through excellent research. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg). It also maintains a research station with further locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

The Research  Area 1 (RA) ‚Landscape Functioning‘ of ZALF investigates the functioning of agricultural landscapes and aims at contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) Zero Hunger, Climate Action, and Life on Land.

We are offering for the RGs Microbial Biogeochemistry und Fungal Interaction of the RA ‘Landscape Functioning’ as soon as possible a 0, 75% position at our location in Müncheberg as

Scientist (m/f/d)

(for 24 month)

The announced position is in the Leibniz Competition 2019-funded project VolCorn ‘Volatilome of a Cereal Crop-Microbiota System under Drought and Flooding’

The project aims for revealing abiotic stress-induced volatiles of mycorrhizal or non-mycorrhizal wheat plants under climate change conditions and correlate them with the functional traits of its microbiota. VolCorn will clarify the function of key single volatiles (or mixtures of them) for the wheat’s response to flooding and drought as frequent weather extremes and to fungal pathogens or herbivores. Outcomes of the project will be the identification of volatile patterns able to enhance the beneficial microbiota and in turn increase the wheat’s fitness under environmental stress. The project partners are the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), Leibniz Institute for Crop Research (IPK) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).

Your tasks:

  • Coordination of all project activities
  • Project related lab and field work, i.e. wheat inoculation experiments with phytopathogenic fungi
  • Analyses of wheat microbiome and mycobiome data (metagenomics, qPCR, bioinformatics)
  • Network analyses of the wheat micro- and mycobiome under flooding and drought
  • Presentation of results on national & international conferences
  • Publication of results in scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • Doctorship in a microbiological, plant, agricultural o. ecological field
  • Excellent communication skills (incl. English)
  • A large interest in science and willingness to learn new methods
  • A high capability in self-management
  • Very good teaming skills
  • Willingness to travel in Germany and abroad
  • Driving license


  • Experiences in experimental laboratory and field studies, incl. plant pot experiments
  • Experimental work with phytopathogenic fungi (ecology, taxonomy, detection etc.)
  • Practical experiences with qPCR, Bioanalyzer, TRFLP, DGGE, DNA/RNA sequencing and extraction from soil and plants, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics

We offer:

  • Many networking opportunities
  • An interdisciplinary and international working environment that encourages independence and self reliance
  • Salary according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L) EG13 (including special annual payment)
  • A collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in dynamic research institutions
  • Family-orientated work

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. Please send your application preferably by e-mail (one PDF file, max. 5 MB) with the usual documents, in particular CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the reference number 84-2019 until October 31, 2019 to Bewerbungen(at)zalf.de.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Prof. Steffen Kolb (RG Microbial Biogeochemistry), phone +49(0)33432/82-326, EMail: kolb(at)zalf.de

Dr. Marina Müller (RG Fungal Interactions), phone +49(0)33432/82-420, EMail: mmueller(at)zalf.de