Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Bioengineering Group

Multiscale modelling and homogenisation of plant-soil interaction

Looking to take the next step in your academic career? Look no further - the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment have an exciting opportunity for you to join one of the UK’s most dynamic centres for engineering and environmental research and education. 

You will be a member of a large interdisciplinary team studying plant soil interaction using X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT), novel biophysical testing methods and multiscale mathematical modelling. All human food comes from plants and 80% of it is directly plants. In order for plants to grow they need to get nutrients and water from the soil. Hence it is of paramount importance to understand how plants and soil interact.

In this project we are exploring root traits that could produce the next generation of crops. An ultimate goal is a rhizosphere formation and function model that integrates root traits and soil properties, with a targeted audience of plant breeders and rhizosphere scientists. As part of the multidisciplinary team you will be responsible for developing and implementing new mathematical multiscale models of how plants and soil physically interact. Building on pore scale modelling of root traits and soil physical properties interact, you will consider how processes upscale to affect plant performance in the field. Your ultimate goal will be a model to identify root traits that could be favourable for crop breeding programme. As such you will be part of a core Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC),Soil and Rhizosphere Interactions for Sustainable Agri-ecosystems (SARISA) programme team which has one other postdoc based in Southampton to deal with imaging of plant soil interaction and another postdoc in Aberdeen conducting experiments on plant-soil interactions. You will join the BBSRC project “Rhizosphere by design: breeding to select root traits that physically manipulate soil”. This post is one of three postdoctoral positions that form an exciting consortium between the University of Southampton, University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute. To find out more about this programme please visit and

To be successful you will need a track record of producing peer reviewed publications, an ability to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team. You will hold a PhD or equivalent in applied mathematics, computational engineering, soil physics or related discipline. A good understanding of X-ray CT methodologies, image analysis and plant-soil interaction problems, mathematical modelling, asymptotic analysis and computer simulations is absolutely essential for this position.   

Informal enquiries to Professor Tiina Roose at

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Matt Saxby (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 3462. Please quote reference 910717BX on all correspondence.

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