Scientist insect-plant interactions

ILVO is looking for a candidate with a master degree for
Function EV: Scientist insect-plant interactions
Vacancy number: EV/2019/053/P96
Entity: Eigen Vermogen (EV) - Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food
Department: Plant Sciences
Place of employment: Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 96 - 9820 Merelbeke


As a research associate, you will work in interaction with a multidisciplinary team of experts in diverse fields, such as agronomy, crop protection (entomology, nematology, virology, bacteriology, mycology), soil health, -omics technologies (genomics, metabolomics, phenomics), plant physiology, economic profitability and chain development within the agrofood sector. More specifically, you will join the entomology/acarology team within the Plant Sciences Unit and you will generate knowledge about insects and mites in terms of their interaction with plants. This includes negative interactions caused by harmful organisms as well as positive interactions, such as providing pollination services and attracting natural enemies. This knowledge should be translated into practical measures for farmers and growers.

Your job mainly includes the following tasks:

  • Contribute to the development of future entomological research at ILVO through the design and development of innovative project ideas, with a strong focus on international collaborations and in close interaction with other ILVO experts.
  • Together with experts inside and outside ILVO, develop a research line on the mechanisms behind insect-plant interactions, and this in the context of IPM strategies, alternative pollination, disease transmission (vector), climate change, ...
  • In agreement with colleagues, communicate to other researchers, members of project consortia, as well as to the general public. This includes giving presentations as well as writing vulgarizing and scientific articles.
  • Contribute to the day-to-day operations of the entomology team and representation of ILVO at events and meetings.

Your profile

  • You have a master degree in bio-engineering, biology or related fields and you have at least 5 years of relevant experience in one of the following areas: plant physiology within an IPM context; plant-insect or plant-mite interactions; insect/mite physiology and feeding patterns; plant pathogen transfer by insects/mites.
  • If you are in possession of a foreign diploma, you need to obtain an equivalence recognition. You can apply for this at NARIC Flanders.
  • You have experience in scientific research, have already built up the necessary skills in applying for research projects and you can rely on a relevant research network, both at home and abroad.
  • You have long-term vision on research related to the control of insect and mite pests and/or on the positive role of insects and mites in agriculture and horticulture, and you are able to translate research results into control measures that can be applied in practice.
  • You are familiar with a wide range of research methods and techniques that are relevant to scientific research in the areas described above.

How to apply?

Send your motivation letter together with your CV and a copy of your diploma (indicating the
vacancy number) to Caroline Buyst (, at the latest by December 31 2019.
Suitable candidates (based on CV screening and motivation letter) are invited for an interview in the month of January. Successful candidates are invited to prepare a vision text for this position and, at a later date, present it to a jury. Please provide a telephone number where you can be reached during the day and indicate your e-mail address on your cv.

More info?

Job content: Jochem Bonte, senior researcher in entomology, Plant Sciences - T: 09 272 24 60 -
Terms of employment: Caroline Buyst, HR-specialist - 09 272 25 12 -

More info and requirements