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Research Associate: Microbiology, Mycorrhiza and Carbon Negative Food Production

Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd

Location: Bute
Salary: £36,333 to £40,155
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 24th January 2024
Closes: 1st March 2024

We seek a postdoctoral microbiologist with experience of mycorrhiza to join us for a new, high-impact project. This 18-month role will focus on the collection and development of ectomycorrhizal (EMF) isolates, optimising in vitro growth conditions and the production of trees inoculated with different EMF species leading to field trials. Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant area of biological sciences and be competent with statistical analysis techniques. We encourage applicants with lab culturing techniques and desirable skill sets include:   

  • Environmental DNA metabarcoding and the analysis of resulting datasets.
  • Mycorrhiza identification.
  • The collection and development of mycorrhizal isolates and optimising in vitro growth conditions. 

This Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd (MSL) based role is part of an exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between MSL and the University of Stirling (UoS). As a global leader in EMF activities, the MSL team is led by Prof. Paul Thomas with the UoS team being led by Prof. Alistair Jump and Dr Dan Chapman.  The project team focusses on combining novel EMF cultivation with woodland creation for carbon negative food production, and is funded by UKRI, BBSRC and MSL.    

Informal enquiries in advance of application can be made to Lyndsay McFarlane or Paul Thomas at l.mcfarlane@plantationsystems.com  

Location

You’ll be working at a new research facility based in a scenic location with beautiful views on the Isle of Bute. As the most accessible of the Scottish islands, Bute sits just 33 miles from Glasgow with a frequent 35min ferry service. A combined train/ferry connection from Glasgow central takes just 1.5hours. With a population of ~6,000, stunning beaches and a mild climate, Bute is a popular holiday destination and a beautiful place to live.  The newly built research facility houses a culturing and DNA sequencing lab, experimental growth facilities and an adjacent field-trial site and truffle orchard. The lab team consists of four with an adjacent office, housing extra staff providing administrative support. You’ll also benefit from the established MSL-UoS team structure and access to UoS facilities. 

Organisation

MSL was founded in 2004 and operates internationally in the cultivation of EMF and primarily truffle species. Having successfully produced the first cultivated truffles in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Macedonia and the Netherlands, MSL is heavily engaged in research and has further large glasshouse facilities in England and an established base in the US. 

You’ll be managed by Prof. Paul Thomas, with additional technical guidance by Prof. Adrian Slater. Supporting your role will be a full-time research assistant and additional administrative support. Your role will allow a degree of creative and experimental flexibility within the boundaries of this high-impact and exciting project.     

Contract and renumeration

This contract is fully funded for 18 months from 01/04/2024.

Salary range: £36,333-£40,155 

Application process and deadline

Please apply by emailing a CV and covering letter, before the 1st of March 2024 to Lyndsay McFarlane via the 'Apply' button above.

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