PhD position in measuring and modelling vegetation traits

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IBG-2 – Pflanzenwissenschaften



Area of research:

PHD Thesis



Job description:

The Plant Sciences Division (IBG-2) of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG) investigates the dynamics of plant processes and the interaction of plants with the environment. Plant science at Forschungszentrum Jülich plays a leading role at national and international level in the field of plant phenotyping, i.e. in the quantitative and non-invasive recording of structural and functional properties of plants important for agricultural and horticultural plant breeding. In this context, IBG-2 is developing new sensors and measurement concepts and integrate them into semi- and fully automated systems. One focus of the institute is the use of optical sensors to promote the automated measurement of plant traits under field conditions. Ground-based measurements are complemented by UAV, aircraft and satellite-based remote sensing approaches. This PhD position is embedded in the recently selected excellence cluster PhenoRob, where IBG-2 is leading partner. The PhD student will be imbedded in the activities of this excellence cluster and will have access to a wide range of training and qualification measures that are offered by this cluster.


Your Job:



  • Employment of different sensors from top-of-canopy gantry systems and UAVs to measure vegetation traits from selected crop plants in the field. The sensors include RGB cameras, multispectral cameras, cameras to measure solar-induced fluorescence, and thermal cameras

  • Develop processes to spatially register these imaging data and aggregate the data on a common grid

  • Use inversion of radiative transfer modeling to derive quantitative crop traits

  • Derive time series of validated vegetation traits that can be interpreted for their temporal and spatial dynamics

  • Interpretation of the results, correlation of remote sensing data with other measurements that are provided within the PhenoRob consortium

  • Presentation of the results at scientific conferences and in scientific publications

Your Profile:

  • University degree in geophysics, biology, agriculture or a related field of study
  • Very good to outstanding grades in studies, as well as a thesis in a related discipline
  • Background knowledge and proven interest in processing and interpretation of spectrally resolved imaging data and other imaging data
  • Knowledge on data processing and georectification of remote sensing and/or phenotyping data
  • Knowledge in interpretation and retrieval of vegetation traits from hyperspectral imagery
  • Knowledge of radiative transfer inversion and the interpretation of solar-induced fluorescence would be beneficial
  • Interest in working in an interdisciplinary research group (excellence cluster) with close cooperation to people from machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics

Our Offer:

  • Possibility to develop own scientific profile in the merging topic of "remote sensing of solar-induced fluorescence"
  • Integration in a world-leading research group in this field with a stimulating scientific environment
  • Wide range of training opportunities that are provided by the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the graduate school of the excellence cluster
  • Position that is limited for four years
  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure – ideal conditions for successfully completing a doctoral degree
  • Continuous, professional support by your scientific supervisor
  • Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund).

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2019D-221

Favorite