PhD Studentship: Multiscale modeling of nitrogen uptake from the soil by plant roots

University of Southampton

Project Reference: EngSci-BIO-144

Project Themes: Bioengineering and Human Factors

All the food humans eat comes directly or indirectly from plants.  It is a great cross-disciplinary challenge to understand the fundamentals of how plants grow and interact with the environment.  It does not overstate the case to say that human life and health hinge on the many processes taking place where plant roots make contact with soil.  Nitrogen is one of the thirteen essential mineral nutrients plants need in order to complete their life cycle and hence it’s a major component of the fertilizers.

We are seeking a PhD student to apply cutting edge mathematical modelling techniques to model how plant roots take up N compounds and water from the soil. The project will involve multiscale mathematical modelling of the plant-soil processes using a combination of numerical simulations and analytic (asymptotic analysis, multiple scale analysis etc) techniques on the models consisting of partial differential equations that describe soil and plant transport properties. Access to the UK University Sector’s most powerful supercomputer (Irisdis4) is available for particularly demanding computational applications.

The successful candidate will have a 1st or 2:1 in mathematics, engineering, or science with demonstrable skill for mathematical modelling.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor Tiina  Roose, Bioengineering Sciences research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2374.

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South East England