October 2019

The ARC-Plant Health and Protection (ARC-PHP) seeks to appoint a highly skilled, experienced and dynamic person to the following position at Stellenbosch:

Junior Researcher: Weeds Pathology (3 Year Fixed Period Contract)

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is a premier science institution that conducts research with partners, develops human capital and foster innovation in support of the agricultural sector. It provides diagnostic, laboratory, analytical, agricultural engineering services, post-harvest technology development, agrochemical evaluation, consultation and advisory services, food processing technology services as well as various surveys and training interventions. Through its wider network of research institutes and experimental farms, the ARC provides a strong scientific base and a broadly distributed technology transfer capacity to the entire agricultural industry in South Africa.

The ARC-Plant Health and Protection (ARC-PHP) seeks to appoint a highly skilled, experienced and dynamic person to the following position at Stellenbosch:


Key Performance Areas:

  • Undertake laboratory and field research on Prosopis pathogens causing stem necrosis and plant dieback disease. This will involve field surveys, isolation, culturing, identifying, and pathogenicity assessments of disease associated organisms;
  • Research activities to ensure targets set out in ARC Operational Plan and contract with DEA: NRMP clients are met;
  • Publish research results in quality journals;
  • Willingness to register for a PhD degree;
  • Contribute to client reports, quarterly reports.


  • Relevant M-degree with Plant Pathology (or similar) as the major, plus any other relevant experience and qualification;
  • Proven research track record in Plant Pathology, Weed Pathology, Mycology or Conservation Sciences;
  • Proven field research experience and a track record in scientific publication;
  • Experience in research on biological control of alien invasive plants using pathogens will be an advantage;
  • Experience in technical report writing and compiling of presentations;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Experience of networking and coordination of research;
  • Computer literacy;
  • Code B or EB drivers’ license.

Enquiries: Dr. A Wood, Tel: (021) 887 4690

A competitive remuneration package will be congruent with the scope, responsibilities and the stature of the position. The appointment will be subject to a six (6) month probation period and a positive security clearance.

Applications accompanied by covering letter, detailed CV (Including certificates, supporting documents, copy of driver’s license and nationality. NB: Non-RSA Citizens/work permit holders must attach certified copies) as well as the names and particulars of three (3) traceable referees must be made online at

SAQA evaluation report must accompany foreign qualifications. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants who do not receive any response four (4) weeks after the closing date must regard their applications as unsuccessful. The Agricultural Research Council is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the principles and processes of Employment Equity. The company has the right not to appoint.


September 2019

Post-doctoral fellowship position – Stellenbosch University

Department of Plant Pathology

Project title: The effect of long-term application of organic amendments on the microbiome of apple tree roots.

Scope: Apple replant disease (ARD) is a phenomenon where the growth of young apple trees is reduced when trees are replanted onto soil previously cultivated with apple or related crop species. The reduction in tree growth is a result of the long-term build-up of a complex of ARD causative agents (fungal, nematode and oomycete) in soil during the life-span of the previously planted orchard. The long-term use of compost and mulches may have the potential to reduce the build-up of ARD causative agents during the life span of an apple orchard, thus reducing disease severity in subsequently replanted orchards. The microbiome structure associated with the rhizosphere- and bulk soil in organically amended orchards may contribute significantly to the potential ARD suppressiveness of these soils.

Project aims:

  • Under glasshouse conditions investigate the rhizosphere microbiome associated with apple tree roots due to the long-term application (6-years) of (i) mulch, (ii) mulch + compost or (iii) no organic amendment treatments.
    • Amplicon sequencing
    • qPCR analyses of selected fungal and bacterial taxa
    • T-RFLPs
  • Under orchard conditions, investigate the bulk soil microbiome in orchard blocks that have received different organic amendment treatments for the past 6
    • Amplicon sequencing
    • qPCR analyses of selected fungal and bacterial taxa
    • T-RFLPs


  • PhD degree.
  • Plant pathology and or molecular biology post graduate training.
  • Experience in Next Generation Sequencing and bioinformatics.
  • Ability to provide research guidance to postgraduate students.
  • English proficiency including writing, reading, comprehension, listening and speech. The minimum English language proficiency requirements for acceptance are 6.15 IELTS band and 550 TOEFL. IELTS or TOEFL scores must be submitted where required.

Commencement and end-date: January 2020 to January 2023

Collaboration: The project will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Mark Mazzola at the USDA.

Salary: R250,000.00 (two hundred and fifty thousand rand) annually, for a period of 3 years.

Application deadline: 30 September 2019

Enquiries: Send a letter of application, curriculum vitae and the contact information of two potential referees to Prof. Adéle McLeod at E-mail:

Two Post Doctoral Fellowships


The Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), based at the University of Pretoria, is a globally recognized center with research focused broadly on the health of plants and plant products. The institute also accounts for the fact that the University of Pretoria is listed as one of the world’s top five centers to study fungi.

FABI is happy to announce the availability of two post-doctoral research fellowships dedicated to the study of fungi. More specifically, the successful candidates will conduct research on the fungal genus Fusarium including pursuing questions relating to the taxonomy and evolutionary genomics of these fungi important to plant and human health. At FABI, the post-doctoral fellows will join a large and internationally recognized team of researchers working on a broad range of topics relating to Fusarium species.

The two post-doctoral fellows will work in close collaboration with colleagues at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute in the Netherlands. They will thus also have opportunities to engage closely with collaborators globally and to benefit from international science networking. Funding for the fellowships will be at a competitive level and dependent on the
experience and accomplishments of the incumbents.

Expressions of interest and applications should be addressed to Dr. Neriman Yilmaz.

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