Postdoc in Plant-microbiome interactions

Department of Biology
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Section of Microbiology at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is seeking to hire an enthusiastic and talented postdoc to study microbial interactions in the plant microbiome, for a 2-year period, commencing 1 January 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The scientific environment

The postdoc will be part of the Section of Microbiology, headed by Prof. Søren Sørensen. His research group focuses on social interactions in microbial populations in in-vivo systems such as soils, plants, animals and humans. The section houses state of the art culture-independent experimental infrastructure that enables us to examine how microbes interact at a scale that is relevant for such small organisms and study the roles of the individual species in these interactions. To do so we use techniques such as high throughput sequencing, flow cytometry, ultra-high resolution bioimaging, confocal microscopy and microbial reporter systems. See more:

The project description

Novel strategies for eco-friendly and sustainable food production seek to explore and exploit the potential of the plant-microbiome to promote growth, acquire nutrients and induce resistance against pests and pathogens.  Yet, we lack a fundamental understanding of the ecological factors controlling the establishment of a beneficial plant-microbiome. Hence, we seek to test the ecological and evolutionary role of microbe-microbe interaction in the assembly and maturation of complex plant root microbiomes. This project investigates the role of microbial interactions as key drivers for microbiome composition and activity, specifically focusing on interspecies cooperation/competition and the resulting priority effects. We work with the overarching hypothesis that microbial communities are composed of collaboromes, rather than independent species, that are characterized by being microscale focal points of interdependent bacteria showing essential microbe-microbe interactions. The emergent properties of these collaboromes present many beneficial consequences for plant growth and health. The experimental design of this project focusses on co-occurrence network analysis on microscale samples, which is complemented with detailed co-localization analyses to identify putative interactions, which are experimentally validated in simple microcosm experiments. 

The candidate will be supervised by Prof. Søren Sørensen (

Job description

Your key tasks as a Postdoc at SCIENCE are:

  • Manage and carry through your research project
  • Collaborate closely with two ongoing plant microbiome projects
  • Disseminate your research and write scientific articles
  • Take part in activities related to teaching at the department
  • Research stay abroad at partner labs is optional (up to the candidate)

Assessment criteria

We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual who is curious to understand how interactions in microbiological systems work. Highly desired candidates will have a solid theoretical background of microbial ecology or plant-microbiome interactions, as well as practical expertise in microbiology, molecular biology and -omics technologies.

Educational qualifications:

Ph.D. in Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Plant Pathology, Theoretical Ecology, or a related biological sciences field is required (applicants expecting to obtain their PhD degree by the position start date will also be taken into consideration).

Required qualifications:

  • Practical expertise with methods in microbiology and molecular biology
  • Documented working experience with plant assays or plant pathogens
  • Multi-omics data analysis in R or Python
  • Good knowledge of biostatistics
  • Good communication skills and collaborative mentality.
  • Curious and willingness to work across disciplines.

Nice-to-have qualifications

Experience with plants experiments, including cultivation, maintenance and site-specific sampling of microbial communities in the rhizosphere; rhizoplane and endosphere.

Experience with any or all of the following methodology: FISH detection in combination with CLSM microscope imaging and/or FACS analyses, preparation of sequencing libraries (Illumina, PacBio), analysis of metagenomic and meta-transcriptomic sequencing data.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Motivation letter specifying project related experience
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 2-3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 1 October 2023, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at


Inquiries about the position can be made to:

Prof. Søren Sørensen
Phone: +45 51827007

Further information on the Department is linked at  If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH in these links:, and The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


Application deadline: 1 October 2023
Employment start: 1 January 2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biology







Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 01-10-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biology

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