Stellenbosch University
November 26, 2020
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Job Type
Job Category
Research & development
Accept Terms and Conditions


Applications are invited to undertake a funded PhD study:

Wood property variation in eucalypts as a function of fine-scale growth and eco-physiological responses to environment


Interested candidates are invited to apply to undertake a PhD-level degree as part of the team at the Hans Merensky Chair in Advanced Modelling of Eucalypt Wood Formation (EucXylo).  The study will utilise an experiment involving the intensive monitoring of growth, ecophysiology, and wood formation in four eucalypt varieties over 18 – 24 months.  The successful student will need to have a background in plant physiology, be comfortable setting up and using various scientific instrumentation (e.g. sap flow, weather station, soil water sensors, etc.), and capable of efficiently managing and analysing large volumes of detailed, complex data.  Students who also have skills/background in wood anatomy will be particularly well suited to this project.

This offer is for students who start their studies from the start of the 2021 academic year (February or March 2021) to submit at the end of 2023. A tax-free, total scholarship of ZAR 160,000 per annum is offered for a maximum of three years for successful candidates.  Students may have the opportunity to present their work at an international conference during their candidature.  Students must register full-time and be based on the Stellenbosch campus of the University.  At least three peer-reviewed publications will be expected from PhD candidates by the time of graduation.

See for more information about the broader program.

Applicants must have a minimum of an M.Sc. degree from a recognised institution, achieved with an above-average grade, in an appropriate biological field.

Applications for this round are open until the end of January 2021.  Please send applications and address any queries, to Dr David Drew ( including the following:

  • All previous degrees and academic records.
  • A cover letter giving background to your application.
  • A brief (max one page) essay giving a conceptual framework for thinking about wood formation in terms of whole-plant physiology.
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date résumé including the names and details of at least two referees.
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