The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

Postdoc position “Interdisciplinary approach to mimic glandular trichomes”, Leiden University, The Netherlands

In this programme we collaborate with polymere chemists from WUR and GU to mimic trichomes that can be sprayed  on plants to potect them against thrips.

The candidate will be working together with AERES applied university. Most likely, Mirka Macel will work on the program from their site on a special lectorate position for one day a week. The applied university of AERES and Biology at Leiden want to strengthen their co-operation.

The  position of the candidate would be to supervise the PhD as co-promotor and to work on plant volatiles that can strengthen the defense potential of the trichome mimics. Basically that means identifying potential volatiles that could be included in the mimics (the latter will be done by (WUR). Testing their effect and finding interesting volatiles would be an important part of the work. The bioactivity of those volatile may impact the herbivores (thrips) directly or indirectly through the next trophic level.

Short project description:

We will use an interdisciplinary approach to mimic glandular trichomes with adhesive

spheres that are

(1) edible, non-toxic, cost effective, and renewable;

(2) capable of immobilizing herbivores and being sprayed onto leaves; and

(3) able to secrete volatiles which are either repellent to herbivores or attractive to beneficial predators.

We will assess this strategy in field trials for efficacy on the target pest, non-target organisms, and optimize the spray application methodology to eliminate clogging.

If you are interested please contact:

Prof. Dr. Peter Klinkhamer

Section Plant Ecology and Phytochemistry


Institute Biology Leiden (IBL) 

Faculty of Science, Leiden University

Sylvius Laboratory, Sylviusweg 72, 2333BE

Office # 3.4.09B,   Phone # 31 71 527 5158

P.O.Box 9505, 2300RA, Leiden, the Netherlands