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AGBS - Post-Doctoral Fellow in High Throughput Phenotyping and Plant Stress Resistance

Morocco (MA)
Competitive Salary
Closing date
16 Jun 2024

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Job Details

College of Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Science (CSAES)

AgroBioSciences program (AgBS)

Position Announcement - Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CSAES), AgroBioSciences program (AgBS),

Duration: 3 years

Location: Benguerir – Morocco

Areas of research:

High throughput phenotyping, Agronomy, Crop improvement, stress resistance, plant-environment interaction,

About UM6P:

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P, is an international higher education institution, established to provide research and innovation at the service of education and development for Morocco and the African continent. It has a state-of-the-art campus at the heart of the Green City of Benguerir, near Marrakesh. UM6P academics and staff enjoy strong research funding, moderate teaching loads, and excellent facilities. Its research approach is transdisciplinary with an emphasis on international collaboration. Many of our research programs run as start-ups. OCP group (, a world leader in fertilizer production, is a major starter client for the University providing capital and research funds. In parallel, a new portfolio of clients is growing with the development of an R&D cluster around the University and a growing number of international partnerships.

About the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) and AgroBiosciences Program (AgBS) at UM6P:

The College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) is a component of the Science & Technology pole of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). It constitutes a structure of higher education and practical-based research with a vision of solving real African agriculture challenges leveraging up to date science and technology. Oriented towards Africa, CAES acts in connection with a wide network of universities and research centers around the continent in order to link real field issues with up-to-date science. Research on plant nutrition, (a)biotic stresses resistance and biofortification is part of the AgroBiosciences Program (AgBS) with main focus on Moroccan and African agriculture challenges in particular meeting the food and nutritional security. 

About the PHENO-MA Platform:

The PHENO-MA is an innovative research platform for high-throughput plant phenotyping built and established at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) in Benguerir – Morocco. It can be used to assess plant responses to nutrient deficiency, drought, high temperature, pests, and diseases, and exploring smart solutions to enhance resistance and boost crop productivity. The platform includes:

  • An outdoor system with a (i) a fully automated lysimetric system with 1400 large container (mini-plots) to study water dynamics and drought scenarios simulation under close-to-field conditions, and (ii) a fully autonomous phenotyping robot, Phenomobile.v2+, equipped with a set of sensors (LiDAR, RGB, IR, and Spectrometer) that enable advanced plant measurements, that allow us to assess plant’s water budget in response to abiotic stress and nutrients’ application. 
  • An indoor system with (i) the phenotyping machines, "PhenoMerzouga.v2", which is a small-scale lysimetric system for simulating climate change scenarios, and (ii) 150 m² of growth chambers and speed breeding platform to accelerate the genetic gain and germplasm development.

Job description:

We are seeking applications for a Post-Doctoral Fellow in high throughput phenotyping and plant stress resistance having experience in the field of high throughput phenotyping, crop improvement, germplasm assessment and evaluation in response to biotic and abiotic stress and Genotype-Environment Interactions (GEI). The candidate should have expertise in germplasm screening, evaluation and characterization, cereal and legumes chemistry, crop improvement, etc. He/she should have familiarity with phenotyping for biotic and abiotic stresses, trait discovery and deployment for crop improvement. The successful candidate is expected to work with an interdisciplinary team identify, select, and develop superior germplasm with focus on end-use traits for market-oriented breeding strategy. The position is part of the Crop Improvement laboratory / AgroBioSciences program (AgBS) at the college of Agriculture (CAES). Priority will be given to the candidates having research good experience in the field of crop improvement. Publication records in the area of germplasm screening and assessment, identification of resistance sources, and characterization of resistance mechanisms is required.  A track record of quality publications and excellence in research with ability to professional engagement with a diverse faculty, staff, and students across the university and externally are required. Good English communication skills; both verbal and written are, also, required.

Main responsibilities:

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Co-designing and implementing research activities related to plant resistance to major biotic and abiotic stresses for cereals and legumes and other potential crops, 
  • Conduct large screening and phenotyping experiments and identification of potential resistance sources and associated traits for major biotic and abiotic plant stresses (drought, high temperature, nutrient deficiency, etc.),
  • Implement high throughput phenotyping technologies using imaging systems, sensor arrays, and robotics as non-destructive and automated measurement tool for assessing plant response to various stresses and identify associated resistant traits (agronomic, morphological, physiological, and biochemical, etc.), 
  • Collect and manage large-scale phenotypic datasets generated from high throughput experiments at the PHENO-MA platform, including image data, sensor readings, and metadata, 
  • Contribute to the management of the PHENO-MA phenotyping platform research activities, including data collection, analysis and reporting,   
  • Contribute to the development of improved germplasm with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and high nutritional value,  
  • Contribute to the multidisciplinary research team in the development of the Crop Improvement team, 
  • Contribution to establishing and/or maintaining collaboration with other research entities at SAES college, UM6P and external partners, 
  • Contribute to research proposals for funding from potential donors and prepare submissions for external, international funding, 
  • Contribute to the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students and development of teaching materials,
  • Up to date on developments through scientific literature and publish research findings in ISI-peer-reviewed scientific journals with high journal Impact Factors. 

Education, qualifications and experience

  • PhD in the field of agronomy, plant science, plant breeding, plant biology, 
  • Good experience in germplasm screening, characterization and high throughput phenotyping for crop improvement, 
  • Good experience in trait discovery and deployment for major biotic and abiotic stresses in cereal and legume crops, 
  • Experience in conducting field and controlled conditions experiments in relation with screening for biotic and abiotic stress resistance,  
  • Good publication record in leading international and well ranked ISI and high Impact Factor journals,
  • Good English communication skills, both verbal and written, 
  • Aptitude for teamwork, problem solving and collaborative work, 
  • Positive attitude in changing fast paced environments, 

Employment terms:

The successful candidate will be employed on a competitive salary by the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) based in Benguerir, Morocco.

Applications and selection procedure:

Applications must be sent using a single electronic zipped folder with the mention of the job title in the mails subject. The folder must contain:

  • Cover letter indicating the position applied for and the main research interests. 
  • Detailed CV.
  • Contact information of 3 references (Applicants are assumed to have obtained their references’ consent to be contacted for this matter).

Applications are to be submitted directly on the hiring platform.

Contact information:


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