PhD student - signaling pathways controlling seed germination

Applications are invited for a PhD student position to investigate the signaling processes underlying the control of seed germination in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana.

Workplace: Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Plants maintain their embryos in a metabolic inert and highly resistant state within the seed. The decision to germinate and to transform the embryo into a seedling is an irreversible developmental transition and a crucial process in the life of the plant. This event is tightly regulated by the biophysical properties of the seed coat, epigenetic and signaling pathways responding to environmental cues (e.g. light, temperature) and involves developmental interactions between the embryo and the surrounding endosperm, a tissue unique to flowering plants. We study the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes using histology, microscopy, biochemical, molecular biology, genetic and whole-genome approaches. The candidates have a demonstrated expertise in molecular biology, molecular genetics, biochemistry or imaging techniques. The successful PhD student candidate will be embedded in the Molecular Biosciences program (

Environment: Geneva offers a safe and high quality of life and is referred as the world’s most compact metropolis with a vibrant cosmopolitan and cultural life. Our department is home to internationally recognized groups and offers a creative scientific environment with access to state-of-the-art technologies.

Application: To apply, please send a single pdf including CV with research experience, motivation letter stating your research interest, copies of your degrees and contact details of 2-3 references to Luis Lopez-Molina ( Review of applications will begin immediately until position is filled.

Representative publications: Piskurewicz et al. 2024 (PMID: 38130053); Piskurewicz et al. 2023 (PMID: 36882415); De Giorgi et al. 2021 (PMID: 34706263); Iwasaki et al. 2019 (PMID: 30910007).

Further information: