Helmholtz Zentrum München is a research center with the mission to discover personalized medical solutions for the prevention and therapy of environmentally triggered diseases and promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world.

At our institute you will find a scientifically stimulating international environment. Together with renowned scientists and supported by an excellent infrastructure you will have the opportunity to make an important contribution for a healthier society.

The Research Unit Environmental Simulation (EUS) is operating one of the most advanced phytotron facilities and building new phenotyping platforms for the study of plant genotype-environment-microbe (G x E x M) interactions. Currently, we are investigating volatile and non-volatile metabolomic networks in plants and microbes under stress and the biological and ecosystemic functions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

We are looking for a highly motivated

PhD student – Effect of plant chemical diversity on structuring herbivore populations (f/m/x) 100647

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We offer you a PhD position within a joint research project together with the Technical University München (Chair of Terrestrial Ecology; Weisser Lab) which is funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). This joint project investigates the basics of plant chemical diversity and its importance for structuring herbivore populations across different special scales.
The focus of your thesis is on studies of the chemical diversity in tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), a herbaceous plant with an enormous chemical diversity. Your work includes experiments in climate chambers, field surveys and metabolomic and molecular biological analyses of terpenoid formation.

Your mission

  • Assessing large-scale spatial chemical variation of tansy across Germany by non-targeted metabolomics using UPLC-MS/MS
  • Carrying out feeding experiments with aphids and characterization of the chemical metabolic diversity of tansy roots
  • Analyzing the effect of plant genetic variation on aphid population genetic structures
  • Integrating data in a systems biology approach and applying multivariate statistics and machine learning approaches

Your qualifications

  • University degree (M.Sc.) in chemistry, biochemistry or a similar professional training
  • Extensive experience in mass spectroscopy
  • Basic knowledge in molecular biology and bioinformatics
  • High team spirit and willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team

What we offer you

continuous education and training
work-life balance
flexible working hours & time off in lieu
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
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Munich, with its numerous lakes and its vicinity to the Alps, is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life worldwide. With its first-class universities and world-leading research institutions it offers an intellectually stimulating environment.

This position also provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge and collect significant professional experience, both of which will help advance your scientific career.

Remuneration and social benefits are based on the collective wage agreement for public-sector employees at federal level (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance amounting to 15% if the necessary conditions are fulfilled. The position is (initially) limited to three years, but under certain circumstances an extension can be arranged.

To promote diversity, we welcome applications from talented people regardless of cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
Applicant guidance on the Corona pandemic 

If you have further questions, simply contact Prof. Dr. Jörg-Peter Schnitzler, +49 893187 2413,, who will be happy to be of assistance.
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Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Research Unit Environmental Simulation
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1

85764 Neuherberg

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