Molecular & Digital Breeding Group
Lincoln and / or Motueka, New Zealand
A bit about us
At Plant & Food Research, we believe science can create a better future. By finding smarter, greener options today, we're helping secure the world we want to live in tomorrow.
With our partners, we use world-leading science to improve the way they grow, fish, harvest and share food. Every day, we have 1000 people working across Aotearoa New Zealand and the world to help deliver healthy foods from the world's most sustainable systems.
What you will be doing
We have an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to investigate the genetic bases of recurrent flowering (RF) in blueberry.
This PhD project is part of the PFR Growing Futures™ direction Horticulture Production goes Urban - Hua ki te Ao (HGU). The project will apply a multi-omics approach to study RF in blueberry.
Within HGU, the programme Traits For Life Indoors aims at identifying and understanding the key genes and genetic changes required to generate perennial fruiting plants suitable for indoor growing environments.
The PhD candidate will be responsible for performing a time-series analysis of floral buds in RF and non-RF genotypes through RNAseq and metabolomics.
They will also be carrying out GxE experiments, by phenotyping RF in replicated samples across two environments. There will also be an opportunity to be involved in work to isolate genes underlying the RF trait.
The PhD candidate will be part of a team considering multiple traits for optimal growth in indoor growing environments, and will have the opportunity to incorporate their work in a greater understanding of plant developmental genetics for the crops of our future.
The specifics of the PhD study within the overall project target will be developed and decided in consultations between the student, the university supervisor (Otago University) and the PFR supervisors.
Applicants will be invited to apply for a University of Otago PhD scholarship for three years. This offers a stipend of currently NZ$27,000 per annum, and up to NZ$8,000 per annum towards university fees.
What you will need
Candidates should have a relevant postgraduate qualification with skills in plant genetics, plant molecular biology, bioinformatics or similar, together with effective written and oral communication skills.
Applicants should send a CV, academic transcript, contact details of two academic referees and a cover letter that states why they are interested in the position and how their qualifications and experience make them a good fit for the proposed research.
New Zealand applicants with a strong academic record are encouraged to apply.