Funded PhD position – Modelling the Physics of Organ Growth          


Starting Fall 2023

We are seeking a motivated candidate to join our biophysics group. The project will involve mechanical modeling (FEM) and 3D image analysis of growing plant organs. A background in Biophysics, Physics, Computer Sciences or Mathematics is required. Biology students with a strong interest in physics and programming are encouraged to apply. Experience with modeling or programming (C++, python, matlab) are a strong asset.

The PhD student will model organ growth to understand how biological shapes are generated from a physics perspective [1,2]. The project is based on mechanical simulations [3] and 3D image analysis [4]. The candidate will work in close collaboration with experimentalists (physicists and biologists) from the Routier lab and Kierzkowski lab. Our group belongs to the Research Institute in Plant Biology (IRBV) at University of Montreal.  

Please send your candidature to before April 15th , 2023:

  • motivation letter and research interests (1 page max)
  • CV and grade records
  • email addresses of 2 referees.

More information about our research:

[1] “Multiple mechanisms behind plant bending.” Jonsson et al., Nature Plants, 1-9 (2022)
[2] “Cellular basis of growth in plants: geometry matters.” Kierzkowski & Routier-Kierzkowska, Current Opinion in Plant Biology 47, 56-63 (2019).
[4] “MorphoGraphX: A platform for quantifying morphogenesis in 4D” Barbier de Reuille, Routier-Kierzkowska et al., eLife 4, e05864 (2015).

Opportunities to join the lab

We always seek curious, motivated students/post-docs to join our interdisciplinary team. Candidates will preferably have a background in Physics, Biophysics, Informatics, Mathematics or Engineering. Biology students interested in computational modelling or biophysics are also welcomed to apply. Research projects in the lab involve at least one of the following techniques:

  • 3D image analysis of growing cells [1]
  • force measurements in living cells [2] and organs [3]
  • mechanical modeling of cells and tissues [4,5]
  1. “MorphoGraphX: A platform for quantifying morphogenesis in 4D.” Elife (2015)
  2. “Cellular force microscopy for in vivo measurements of plant tissue mechanics.” Plant physiology (2012)
  3. “Morphomechanical innovation drives explosive seed dispersal.” Cell (2016)
  4. “Why plants make puzzle cells, and how their shape emerges.” Elife (2018)
  5.  “Cellular basis of growth in plants: geometry matters.” Current opinion in plant biology (2019)

Please always provide the following with your application (spontaneous application or response to job offer):

  • motivation letter
  • CV
  • publication list
  • grades records
  • contact to two referees

If no core funding is available at the time, please consider applying for the following grants. We encourage students and post-docs from under-represented groups to apply.