Research Fellow in Plant Cell Biophysics
University of Leeds School of Physics and Astronomy
United Kingdom

Research Fellow in Plant Cell Biophysics

Are you an experienced researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have experience of mechanical characterisation using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed Research Fellow to complete an interdisciplinary research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The successful applicant will join a dynamic team formed by Dr Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso (School of Biology), Dr Simon Connell (School of Physics and Astronomy) and Dr Michael Ries (School of Physics and Astronomy) and a number of UK and international research partners.

You will have access to state-of-the-art microscopes and use them to measure the physico-mechanical properties of plant intercellular channels. The aim is to understand the structure and biophysical properties underlying the regulation of plant signalling. The project is mature, with much of the biological work completed, and your focus will be the application of advanced Atomic Force Microscope based mechanical characterisation combined with fluorescence microscopy to identify and characterise plasmodesmata ultrastructure, and determine how the regulation of glycans affects mechanical properties. The contribution of different plant cell wall components such as xylan and callose will be achieved through use of mutants and wildtypes, and validated through comparison with model gel systems created from pure components. Potential use of this knowledge of plant biotechnology will lead to the design of new biodegradable, biomimetic and nanostructured materials.

Holding a PhD (or have submitted your thesis before taking up the role) in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering or a closely allied discipline; you will have significant experience of advanced experimental technology/methodology within a physics and/or material sciences environment.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Dr Simon Connell, Associate Professor

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 8241 or email:

Please note: If you are not a British or Irish citizen, from 1 January 2021 you will require permission to work in the UK. This will normally be in the form of a visa but, if you are an EEA/Swiss citizen and resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, this may be your passport or status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Location: Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School/Institute: School of Physics & Astronomy
Category: Research
Grade: Grade 7
Salary: £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Due to funding restrictions, an appointment will not be made higher than £38,017 p.a.
Working Time: 37.5 hours per week
Post Type: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed Term (Until 15 December 2021 (grant funding))
Release Date: Friday 21 May 2021
Closing Date: Sunday 20 June 2021
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: EPSPA1031

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