Post Doctoral Research

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Post Doctoral Research Associate: Sugarcane Crop Modelling

The South African Sugarcane Research Institute based in Mount Edgecombe near Durban seeks a research associate to join an experienced team of researchers to conduct exciting crop modeling research in sugarcane.

Research Associate: Modelling Sugarcane Canopy Development and Biomass Partitioning
(1 April 2012 to 31 August 2013, Mount Edgecombe, ZAR 150 000 pa)


Genetic, environmental (e.g. water status and temperature) and management (e.g. row spacing and mulch layers) factors all effect crop growth and development processes such as leaf and tiller phenology, resource capture, biomass assimilation and partitioning. The aim is to develop conceptual models from recently acquired physiological knowledge about these interactions and incorporate it into the DSSAT Canegro sugarcane model. 

The research associate will work with leading scientists and programmers to:

  • develop a coherent set of integrated conceptual models, appropriate algorithms and mathematical relationships;
  • incorporate these into the existing DSSAT Canegro v4.5 code,
  • test the new model against experimental data, and
  • document model changes.    

Research outcomes will include the code and scientific documentation of the new version of DSSAT Canegro as well as publications in scientific journals.  

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A Ph.D. in botany, crop science, agronomy, soil science, agrometeorology or related field.
  • Experience in crop simulation modeling.
  • The ability to use software to quantitatively analyse crop experimental data and simulate crop and soil processes.
  • The capacity to conduct independent research.
  • The ability to communicate effectively and write scientific publications.

The Position

The successful candidate will be provided with a package inclusive of a competitive bursary, accommodation on site, and a dynamic, well-resourced and friendly working environment based at SASRI.

The Contact

Further details can be obtained from the addressee below. A resume and covering letter, outlining why the candidate is suited to the position, should be sent before 31 March 2012 to:

Ann Turner 
Human Resources Department
Private Bag X02,
Mt Edgecombe, 4300. KZN.
South Africa.