Our lab is hiring

We are always open to discuss options such as the joint writing of research proposals for funding opportunities such as Marie Curie, EMBO, ERC, CSC or NWO-Veni. Get in touch with Ronald to discuss opportunities.

Current Job opening:
We are recruiting a PhD student in plant developmental plasticity, as part of the large Lettuceknow consortium on lettuce research, combing genomics, genetics, development and resilience.
Apply here, before July 4th, 2021.

Master students who are interested in doing a research project in our team should check out the options that we will keep posting below.

Research projects for MSc students (min. 6 months), contact Ronald Pierik or the dedicated supervisor for more information.

Shoot to root signaling: the HY5 transcription factor and the hormone gibberellin
The transcription factor HY5 regulates a lot of processes in both shoots and roots. This work was recently published in The Plant Cell: The main conclusion is that there is a mobile transcription factor, HY5 that can regulate root growth and is transported from shoot to root. In this project we aim to further understand this shoot-root transport of HY5 in shade avoidance. We ware also, separately, focussing on the mobile plant hormone gibberellin.
Techniques : Confocal microscopy, western blot, qPCR, phenotyping & image analysis.
Knowledge required:
Cell biology, molecular biology, microscopy
Kasper van Gelderen, Valérie Hoogers

Plant competition and nutrient stress in root development
One of the main functions of the root system is to take up nutrients required for plant growth. We are interested in studying the interaction between light signaling and responses to differential nutrient availability. In this project you will use mutants, gene expression techniques, microscopy and phenotyping to further our understanding of the crosstalk between light and nutrient signaling.
Techniques: Root phenotyping, image analysis, qPCR, cell biology
Knowledge required: Plant biology, some molecular biology
Supervision: Kasper van Gelderen

Leaf movement to localized light treatments: spatial signal transduction
Upward leaf movement in the leaf base in Arabidopsis is triggered by far-red light exposure of the leaf tip; the opposite end of the leaf, as we recently published in PNAS: doi:10.1073/pnas.1702275114. We are unraveling the molecular mechanisms regulating  this leaf movement, including hormone transport and response, transcriptional processes and more.
Techniques: (Confocal) Microscopy, qPCR, plant physiology, hormone treatments, imaging. 
Knowledge required: Plant biology 
Supervision: Jesse Küpers

Light quality affects tomato plant immunity 
Cultivated tomato is a beautiful shade avoider. Just like other sun-loving plants, tomato also down regulates it’s immunity upon exposure to far-red-enriched light. We studied this previously in Arabidopsis, and are translating existing knowledge to – and discovering novel insights in tomato, in a large national consortium that studies how LED lighting can be implemented in horticulture. You will study the physiological and/or molecular mechanisms through which  far-red light controls plant immunity.
Techniques: Plant-Pathogen bioassays, microscopy, plant growth, qPCR.
Knowledge required: Plant Biology and/or Microbiology
Supervision: Sarah Courbier