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PhD Position in Computational Developmental Biology

Posted by , on 15 February 2021

Closing Date: 16 April 2021


Within the context of the DFG research unit “Morphodynamics of Plants” (FOR2581) a Ph.D. position is available in the lab of Prof. Kay Schneitz, Dept. of Plant Developmental Biology, Technical University of Munich in Freising/Germany.

The research unit “Morphodynamics of Plants” is a multi-disciplinary consortium of nine groups (biologists, physicists, computer scientists) located in Munich/Freising, Heidelberg, and Cologne that want to understand how plants shape their organs. In the past the Schneitz lab contributed to the machine learning-based digital image analysis pipeline “PlantSeg” [1]. Using PlantSeg the lab succeeded in creating a digital 3D atlas of ovule development in Arabidopsis thaliana with cellular resolution [2]. The ovule is the predecessor of the seed and the major female reproductive organ in higher plants. Its extreme curvature represents a particularly fascinating morphogenetic process.

The successful candidate will take advantage of the digital 3D atlas of ovule development and combine genetic, cell biological and computational approaches to understand the genetic, cellular and mechanic basis of integument morphogenesis and ovule curvature. Starting date is June 2021 but is negotiable. Funding is at the usual TV-L E13/2 level.

We are looking for a highly motivated scientist trained in molecular and cell biology and/or biophysics with a strong interest in interdisciplinary work at the interface of bioinformatics, advanced confocal microscopy, image processing, 3D computer visualization, modelling, and cell and developmental genetics. The person should have good problem-solving skills and be able to work independently. Fluency in English is a must. Computer affinity is a must. Programming skills (Python, R) are a plus. Applicants must have a University degree equivalent to a German MSc degree.


[1] Wolny et al. (2020) Accurate and versatile 3D segmentation of plant tissues at cellular resolution. eLife 9: e57613.

[2] Vijayan, Tofanelli et al. (2021) A digital 3D reference atlas reveals cellular growth patterns shaping the Arabidopsis ovule. eLife 10: e63262.


Please submit your application as a single PDF file by email to

TUM is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualifications.

For further information please contact:

Prof. Dr. Kay Schneitz

Plant Developmental Biology, TU München, D-85354 Freising

Email: URL:

Twitter: @PlantDevTUM

For more information about the consortium:

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