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Leib­niz-Insti­tut für Gemüse- und Zier­pflan­zen­bau Großbee­ren/Erfurt e.V.

The Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) aims for excellence in horticultural research and related plant, environmental and social sciences. IGZ is based in Großbeeren close to Potsdam and Berlin and is a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL). IGZ conducts strategic and international research for the sustainable production and use of vegetables, contributing to food security, human well-being and the conservation of natural resources. At IGZ, researchers from different disciplines work together on core-funded and grant-funded projects, in collaboration with national and international research partners.

To contribute to the target of resource optimization in protected environment crop production through smart systems, the research group ‘Next-generation Horticultural Systems - Controlled Environments’, we look for an enthusiastic and ambitious

Postdoctoral Researcher (f,m,div) in the area “Monitoring crop – (micro)climate interactions in protected plant cultivation systems”


Reference Number: 28/2023/4

Working field:

Employment will be initially for three years with a three-year extension upon a satisfactory evaluation at 2.5 years using the IGZ criteria for postdoctoral careers. The salary will be based on qualification and research experience according to the wage agreement TV-L, up to pay scale 13, full time. The position is suitable for part-time work with at least 32 hours/week.

The scientist will be part of the research group HORTSYS-Controlled environment horticultural systems. We create model-sensor based decision support tools for resource optimised crop production in protected cultivation. We use and improve process-based models and employ systems modelling approaches to understand analyse the dynamics of plant-climate interactions in (semi)-controlled environments. A major topic of the research group is model-based monitoring using systems modelling and sensor technology, aiming at resource-use optimised production in greenhouses and indoor-farms. We use our research for real-time monitoring and environmental control fostering resource conservation in greenhouses and controlled environments. Our focus is mainly on the process level and understanding of functional interaction of sub-processes of biological, physiological and physical origin; and using that as basis for scenarios and monitoring.

As such, we use process-based models, while the combination of those with data-based models is foreseen as a major research part of this position dealing with monitoring leaf – microclimate interaction for prediction of plant physiological and physical states as e.g. stomatal conductance: A key for resource use optimised protected crop cultivation in climate-controlled environments as greenhouses is controlling crop evapotranspiration. Understanding and systematic analyses of the signals controlling stomata behaviour and incorporating their dynamics in models is still poorly developed. Predicting leaf-energy household with interactions of root-zone conditions and aerial environment is therefore a central issue in this research position.

Tasks include

  • Building an own research portfolio in line with the research groups scientific strategy
  • Theoretical and practical assessment of plant – climate interaction and stomata dynamics in protected cultivation
  • Combining process-based and data-based mathematical models and implementation in a relevant platform, preferably in Matlab
  • Creation solutions for sensor-model based crop monitoring
  • Scientific publications in highly ranked scientific journals
  • Supervision of bachelor, master and PhD students
  • Presenting science to international audience and active participation in conferences and workshops
  • Active participation within the local research environment at the IGZ, in the region, and in the Leibniz-Association
  • Active in applications of grants for national and international calls as e.g. Horizon Europe


We are looking for candidates with

  • A PhD within protected crop cultivation, plant physiology and/or modelling or a related field
  • Ability to independently apply for research grants and build international project consortia
  • Not more than 5 years since obtaining the PhD
  • Excellent organization and English language communication skills
  • Open, flexible and positive attitude, able to take the initiative
  • Readiness to integrate into an international working environment

The following professional background will be taken into account for competitive assessment

  • Experience in climate-controlled cropping systems as greenhouses and/or indoor farms
  • Experience in hydroponics crop cultivation techniques and recirculating fertirrigation systems
  • Experience in greenhouse crop physiology, plant – climate interactions, and systems modelling
  • Knowledge or ability to learn of sensing plant responses in controlled environments
  • Knowledge or ability to learn technologies of thermal imaging and image analysis
  • Knowledge of leaf – microclimate - climate interactions, leaf morphology and stomata biology
  • Knowledge of mathematical analytics and ability to translate processes to equations and to systems
  • Evidence of proficiency in using computer programming to develop plant models and data processing

What we offer:

  • An inspiring and dynamic research environment, including state-of-the art research facilities
  • Very good conditions to develop your own scientific career and your network in the field of high-technology crop production
  • Participation in a successful, dedicated and team-oriented research group
  • Flexible and family-friendly working time models
  • A place of employment located close to Berlin and Potsdam and subsidy for the company ticket for local public transport or the Germany ticket

More information on about the IGZ you can find under For questions, please contact: Dr. Oliver Körner (++49(0)33701 78 355;

We encourage a healthy work-life balance. The IGZ attaches great importance to equal opportunities. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualifications. The IGZ embraces diversity in its workforce, and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief or ethnic origin.

How to apply:

Please send a cover letter, statement of research interests, and reasons for applying to this position, your detailed CV (incl. list of publications), copies of academic certificates, copies of three most relevant publications and contact details of two referees.

We prefer to receive applications citing the reference number send by email to in pdf format. Our postal address is: Personalbüro, Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Theodor-Echtermeyer-Weg 1, D-14979 Großbeeren.