Thesis and internship opportunities on crop physiology, agricultural entomology, and metabolomics are offered, at both bachelor and master levels, between March and October 2023 at SLU Alnarp. The applicant should have a background in either biology or agricultural sciences, and international/exchange students are encouraged to apply. The minimum duration is three months. During the thesis/internship the student will be supervised in writing a short proposal and acquiring data in the field to analyze and discuss. This work is part of a collaboration project on waste-based biofertilizers for integrated pest management and circular bioeconomy among an agroecology farm, an insect-rearing company and SLU.
The applicant must be a university student, either Bachelor or Master level, with at least a basic knowledge of statistics and plant physiology for WP1G and entomology for WP1B and WP2B. We encourage students with backgrounds in biology or agricultural sciences to apply. We encourage international students to apply through the Erasmus+ program, either for study or internship and other international programs.
WP1G: Photosynthetic efficiency (min. 3 months)
Three measurements will be made every other day: chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and gas exchange. The chlorophyll content index (CCI) will be measured with a MC-100 Chlorophyll Concentration Meter (Apogee Instruments, USA) according to Parry et al., 2014. The chlorophyll fluorescence will be measured from 2 h after the photoperiod starts (dawn) until 12 a.m. with a LI-6800 Portable Photosynthesis System (LI-COR Biosciences, UK). The same instrument will simultaneously measure the gas exchange.
WP1B: Biotic interaction (min. 3 months)
The leaf area index (LAI) and damage ratio will be measured using a camera and subsequent image processing through ImageJ2. In addition, an assessment (species and numbers) of the aboveground arthropods will be carried out periodically, and the floral visitation will be estimated.
WP2B: Metabolites extraction and analysis (min. 3 months)
Samples of damaged and healthy tissues will be collected, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and lyophilized. Subsequently, metabolites will be extracted from these tissues and those associated with product quality (i.e. vitamins and antioxidants) and biotic tolerance (i.e. alkaloids), will be quantified through GC-MS.
The application must contain a CV and a motivation letter. A letter of recommendation from a professor or former employer would be considered, although not requested. The CV must include ways to contact the applicant. The motivation letter should be one A4 page with text in Calibri 12 with 1.15 interline spacing. The motivation letter should clearly state in which work package(s) and times the student is interested. You can expect an answer within five working days.