Postdoc in computational systems biology

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

07 Nov 2021


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Steven Maere Lab



The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB, is a world-leading plant science institute with the mission to unravel the biology of plants and use the insights gained to improve the sustainability of agriculture and the climate change resilience of crops. 

The Maere lab at PSB ( is active in the fields of computational biology, evolutionary genomics, and plant systems biology. Current research topics include testing a novel experimental setup to unravel the molecular wiring of plant phenotypes under field conditions, studying dosage balance-sensitive genes in plants, and modeling the evolution of transcriptional systems in silico. We are currently looking for a talented postdoc to join our team in the context of the VIB Grand Challenge project ‘Soy in Flanders’ (

Project description

In this project, we engaged 1000 citizens to grow soy in their own gardens. We will isolate endogenous Rhizobium bacteria from soy plants grown in Belgian soil and integrate data regarding soil type, microorganisms, and soy variety for the development and implementation of guidelines on optimal cultivation methods for soy in Flanders. In the long term, this should help to produce tailor-made seeds inoculated with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are adapted to local soil conditions and can improve soy yields. In addition, the project aims to improve public know-how and awareness about the benefits of legumes for health, sustainable gardening, and agriculture.

The Maere lab will be in charge of integrating the data generated by phenotyping efforts, soil and microbiome analyses, rhizobia genomics results, and citizens’ surveys, to identify which factors influence efficient nodulation of soybeans in the gardens profiled. This is crucial for the development of guidelines for citizens to sustainably manage their gardens, and for identifying which nitrogen-fixing rhizobia are ideally suited for a particular soil type or soybean variety in the field.


  • You have a Ph.D. in Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, or Biological Engineering. Candidates with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, or Computer Science and extensive experience in molecular biology data analysis will also be considered.
  • You have a passion for science.
  • You are fluent in English (spoken and written) and master several programming languages.
  • You are an expert in machine learning and analysis of genomics data, hands-on experience with microbiome data analysis is a plus.
  • You have an outstanding publication record in peer-reviewed international journals.
  • You found a good balance between working in a team and working independently.
  • You are meticulous, well-organized, responsible, and self-critical.
  • You take pride in delivering high-quality work.
  • You can think outside the box.

We offer

  • A 2-year postdoc position with an attractive salary.
  • An exciting work environment in a top research institute.
  • The opportunity to be part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and international team.
  • A challenging project with high societal value.
  • Ample opportunity to learn new skills.

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV, a letter of motivation, and the contact details of two referees. Applications are accepted until the position is filled. 

For more information, contact Steven Maere.