PhD Opportunity in New Zealand

PhD Opportunity in New Zealand: Applications deadline 31 July 2009.

Genetics of Nematode Resistance in White Clover AgResearch Grasslands & Massey University Palmerston North, New Zealand Ref: AGR950 This fully funded PhD studentship offers you the opportunity to launch your career in plant genetics and pathology at an internationally recognised centre for applied plant and pastoral science research. Parasitic nematodes, including the widespread genus Meloidogyne, provide a dynamic plant-pathogen interaction for fundamental and applied research of substantial relevance for food security and agricultural economies. Meloidogyne trifoliophila constrains the legume component of pasture in New Zealand, decreasing productivity and sustainability by lowering feed quality and the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The project builds on a strong research base including a well-characterised plant-pathogen interaction, and established gene mapping resources. AgResearch is an independent Crown-owned research and development company with campuses across New Zealand. This role will be primarily based at our Grasslands campus in Palmerston North with easy access to a gym, swimming pool, in a beautiful rural setting – even a staff vegetable garden – it’s just a taste of what you’ll enjoy here. The campus is within three hour’s drive of forests, beaches, ski fields, vineyards and the capital city of Wellington. Adjacent to AgResearch is Massey University, one of New Zealand’s largest with almost 35,000 students. Massey has a core competency in pastoral agriculture. Their Institute of Molecular BioSciences, part of the College of Sciences has a strong publishing record from their plant biologists. New Zealand leads the world in many social and economic standards and is an acknowledged innovator in sustainable pastoral agriculture. Your work will be in the wider context of the legume genomics and plant breeding teams at AgResearch, a world-leading site for pastoral research and development. You’ll investigate white clover with quantitative resistance to nematodes using association and linkage-based genetics to define the genetic bases of the resistance mechanism. The primary focus will be complemented by studies of pathotype diversity and characterisation of the effect of genetic background on resistance expression. You’ll demonstrate enthusiasm and motivation to join our team. We offer a supportive, stimulating environment where the focus is on success in plant breeding, underpinned by basic science excellence. The successful applicant will receive a three year PhD stipend of NZ$25,000 per annum plus tuition fees and research expenses. Enquires are welcomed from students whose academic performance qualifies them for admission into PhD study. To be eligible you must qualify for a New Zealand Work Visa. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. While there’s so much here to benefit your career, you’ll also discover that at our Grasslands campus, there’s even more for you to look forward to. Beautiful rural setting – even a staff vegetable garden – it’s just a taste of what you’ll enjoy here.

For more information please call Marti Robinson on +64 6 351 8055 or to apply visit our career site Applications close 31 July 2009.

Project Contacts: Chris Mercer // nematology [email protected] Brent Barrett // white clover breeding and genetics [email protected] Vaughan Symonds // plant quantitative genetics [email protected]

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