Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is an institution dedicated to research and innovation in Africa and aims to position itself among world-renowned universities in its fields
The University is engaged in economic and human development and puts research and innovation at the forefront of African development. A mechanism that enables it to consolidate Morocco's frontline position in these fields, in a unique partnership-based approach and boosting skills training relevant for the future of Africa.
Located in the municipality of Benguerir, in the very heart of the Green City, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University aspires to leave its mark nationally, continentally, and globally.
Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150
Phosphorus (P) is a critical nutrient for plant growth, yet P deficiency is a widespread issue in many parts of the world, including Africa. Adsorption and immobilization of P into active mineral surfaces (aluminium, iron, calcium, and clays), organic molecules, and microbial biomass are the main mechanisms decreasing soil P availability in terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, high amounts of P fertilizers have been applied to agroecosystems to maintain and increase crop productivity. However, excessive applications of P fertilizers have caused an accumulation of P in the soil, which is commonly referred to as “legacy P”, along with an impairment of surface water quality. This research project will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms controlling soil P dynamics under calcareous (Morocco) and acidic soils (Africa) as affected by soil types, land use, and management practices. An assessment of different soil P pools using wet chemistry (soil P fractionation) will be coupled with an investigation of the mechanisms used by soil microorganisms and plants to influence soil P availability and P cycling in soil-plant systems. Parallel to that, changes occurring in soil chemical and physical properties will be assessed. The specific objectives of this research project will be:
- To assess soil P legacy in Moroccan and African soils, as affected by soil types, land use and management practices.
- To investigate the role of soil microbes and plant mechanisms in increasing soil P availability and mobilizing soil P legacy.
- To assess the speciation and dynamics of organic P pools in P-deficient soils as well as organically managed agroecosystems.
- To determine the impact of nutrient inputs on soil P dynamics and P availability.
- To evaluate the effects of cover crops, crop rotation, and intercropping systems on soil P dynamics and availability.
This research project will involve a series of incubation studies, glasshouse experiments, and field trials that will be appropriately designed and carried out to achieve specific objectives. The outcomes of this research project are intended to help formulate adequate management practices for farmers that will enhance P fertilizer use efficiency and P availability to plants, thereby increasing plant productivity and farmers’ income. Furthermore, the project’s outcomes will provide data and knowledge to be applied to the P fertilizer industry and plant breeding programs across Morocco and Africa.
Criteria of the candidate:
* PhD in the subject discipline
* Proven ability to perform multidisciplinary research and contribute to funded research programs.
* Demonstrated understanding of operational requirements for a successful research project and managing time and resources.
* Proven ability to identify and fulfil the academic writing requirements for development of proposal, reports and scientific publications.
* Good English communication skills, both verbal and writing are important.
* Ability to work both as part of a team and to work independently.