PhD Candidate

WorkplaceFlemish Region, Ghent, Belgium


Master Degree (or equivalent) in Bioscience Engineering, Biotechnology, Biology or a related subject

Job description

A PhD position is available at the department of Plants and Crops for a motivated PhD candidate to work in the context of an ERC consolidator grant on the molecular genetic mechanisms of adaptation in a polyphagous pest. This is a full-time position for 4 years with the possibility to obtain a doctoral degree. The PhD candidate will work in the research group of Prof Van Leeuwen which is specialized in molecular toxicology and the genomics of adaptation in mite pests. The candidate must be free to start October 1st 2018.


Spider mites are important crop pests with a remarkable evolutionary potential to adapt to a vast array of different host plants and chemicals used for their control (acaricides). However, the factors that determine such an enormous flexibility have not yet been uncovered. For example, the role of allelic variation, copy number variation, and regulatory changes has not yet been investigated in any generalist herbivore.

The main goal of this research project is therefore to identify genomic loci that underlie adaptation in an extremely generalist, and to validate the findings in functional assays. A special focus will be to uncover master regulators of gene expression.

Profile of the candidate

  • We look for an enthusiastic and ambitious PhD candidate with a strong interest in the genetics/genomics and physiology of adaptation and plant-herbivore interactions.
  • The candidate is expected to have a background in molecular biology and should hold a Master Degree (or equivalent) in Bioscience Engineering, Biotechnology, Biology or a related subject
  • The candidate should have a high level of proficiency in English which is sufficient to communicate effectively with colleagues.

At the end of this 3-4 year doctoral research position, a Ph.D. thesis must be written to obtain the degree of Doctor in Applied Biological Sciences.

How to apply

Please send your motivation letter and full CV to Leen.Dierick [at] UGent[.]be ,
In your application, please refer to
and reference  JobID 888.