One of the most pressing challenges in agriculture is how to ensure food security and promote long-term social-economic development whilst maintaining healthy, sustainable ecosystems capable of quickly adapting to changing environments such as climate change. This challenge calls for a shift of disease management strategies in agriculture focusing on the sole task of high productivity to multiple-functionary agriculture aiming to balance the needs among social, economic and ecological components. Our knowledge of epidemiological and evolutionary responses of major plant pathogens, crop production and ecological functions etc. to the change of agricultural practices in future climatic conditions is limited but important to achieve the multifaceted role of agriculture.
The postdoctoral scientist will work on an initiative (and strategic) project supported by the university to predict how change of disease management strategies by adopting different agricultural practices may affect the epidemiological and evolutionary patterns of plant pathogens, productivity and resilience of crops, soil health, and economic and ecological benefits to growers and society (externality) in future climatic conditions. The main model systems will be wheat-Zymoseptoria tritici and potato-Phytophthora infestans. The post-doctor is expected to develop mathematical and simulating models to digitally evaluate the short- and long-term impacts of agricultural practices and climate changes on agricultural sustainability and publish results in relevant journals. The candidate is also expected to involve in the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students when necessary. The successful candidate will mainly be working at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala but is expected to be flexible when it comes to travelling to collaborating research groups domestically and internationally.