1. PhD position in the Applied Optics Group, University of Kent, Canterbury UK

    PhD position in the Applied Optics Group, University of Kent, Canterbury UK



    4 years BBSRC South Coast Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SoCoBio DTP) Studentship 

    Optical Coherence Tomography – Developing Tools to interrogate the skin of fruits for understanding disease susceptibility


     Project Summary

    Plant cuticle and underlying epidermis forms the outermost layer protecting plants from desiccation and from abiotic and biotic stresses. The cuticle comprises mainly of polyester cutin and epicuticular waxes that help to prevent moisture loss and maintenance of cell turgor. In fruits changes in surface properties play an important role in increasing consumer appeal during maturation through development of ‘blooms’ and colour changes. Importantly, the cuticle and epidermis form a mechanical barrier acting as the first-line in defence against the ingress from plant pathogens.

    The PhD Studentship will aim to develop optical coherence tomography (a non-invasive high-resolution microscopy technology based on interference) to underpin our understanding of changes in fruit surfaces properties that may affect susceptibility to pathogen attack during development and ripening. This exciting studentship will provide a significant contribution to our understanding how to develop sustainable strategies to reduce food loss and wastage.

    To apply please follow the guidance at https://southcoastbiosciencesdtp.ac.uk/apply/ and complete  the SoCoBio application form by Midnight on Monday 4th January 2021.  This PhD Studentship is due to start in October 2021. Within the SoCoBio Application Questionnaire, one of the supporting documents to be included with your application, for Question 1, enter the theme for this project - Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food.

    The applicant must have a good background in either Bioscience with keen interests in Physics or Electronics engineering, or Physics (Optics)/Electronic Engineering but interested in their applications to plant science.

    We are looking for highly imaginative and self-motivated individual, prepared to develop interdisciplinary research.

    More information on the EMR Department of Pest & Pathogen Ecology at:


    More information on the Applied Optics Group can be found at: https://research.kent.ac.uk/appliedoptics/news/

    For more information you may e-mail Prof. Xiangming Xu at Xiangming.Xu@emr.ac.uk, Department of Pest & Pathogen Ecology, NIAB EMR or Prof A. Podoleanu at ap11@kent.ac.uk, School of Physical Sciences, Ingram, University of Kent, CT2 7NH, UK


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