Research Fellow in Plant-Microbes Interactions

Job type: 
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand
Apply By (date): 
Monday, January 31, 2022 - 00:00
  • Do you have a PhD in Microbial Ecology, Molecular Microbiology, or Microbial Biochemistry?
  • Are you able to effectively collect/analyse data and communicate research findings?
  • Do you have an interest in teaching and/or co-supervision of students?

Mō Te Herenga Waka - About Our University

Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington is a global-civic university with our marae at our heart. This iho draws off our heritage and is further defined by our tūrangawaewae, in particular Wellington, Aotearoa, and the Asia-Pacific, all of which are expressed in our position as Aotearoa New Zealand's globally ranked capital city university.

Our core ethical values are respect, responsibility, fairness, integrity, and empathy. These core ethical values are demonstrated in our commitment to sustainability, wellbeing, inclusivity, equity, diversity, collegiality, and openness. With, and as, tangata whenua, we value Te Tiriti o Waitangi, rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, whai mātauranga, whanaungatanga, and akoranga.


Kōrero mō te tūranga - About the role

Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington is currently recruiting a Research Fellow in Plant-Microbes Interactions. This is a 2.5-year fixed term contract. The Research Fellow will undertake research that explores the complex network of genetic and chemical interactions that mediate beneficial plant-microbe interactions (with a particular focus on applications in disease prevention). This position will also support teaching related to plant microbiology.

As such, it will provide a multi-disciplinary opportunity for the right candidate. Our project will explore: which organisms contribute the major protective effects, and by what mechanisms? How can we modulate or engineer these communities? By answering these questions, we hope to guide the development of new agroecological practices.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to project design and ongoing development.
  • Plan, conduct, document, and analyse experiments.
  • Contribute to the supervision and training of students and/or other team members.
  • Contribute to the preparation of manuscripts for publication.
  • Engage with collaborators and stakeholders.

Ō pūmanawa - About you

Key Requirements:

  • PhD in a relevant field (e.g. Microbial Ecology, Molecular Microbiology, Microbial Biochemistry).
  • Demonstrated ability to collect/analyse data and communicate research findings (a track record of publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals).
  • Ability to work collegially and collaborate within an interdisciplinary research team.
  • An interest in teaching and/or co-supervision of students.
  • A passion for research reproducibility and open science.

Additional preferred skills:

  • Familiarity with scripting languages and standard bioinformatics tools for analysis of genomic and/or metagenomic data.
  • Experience with any of the following could also be beneficial: metabolomics, microscopy and/or protein biochemistry.

Note: we don’t expect anyone candidate to have all of these skills. It is an interdisciplinary project – tell us what unique combination of skills you will bring to it!


Ētahi kōrero hai āwhina i a koe - Why you should join our team

This position is based in the laboratory of Dr. Monica Gerth within the School of Biological Sciences and Faculty of Science at the University’s Kelburn Campus (Wellington). The School of Biological Sciences is a diverse and stimulating academic environment, with research groups spanning from biochemistry to ecology. Wellington is also consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities, with a vibrant downtown, a beautiful harbour, and easy access to the outdoors (including field sites such as Otari-Wilson’s Native Botanic Garden & Forest Reserve).


Close Date for Vacancy: 31 January 2022

Contact Details for Vacancy: If you have any questions regarding this role please get in touch with Dr Monica Gerth (email: