DescriptionPlant & Food Research (PFR) is a New Zealand science company delivering research and development designed to grow competitive advantage for clients in the horticulture, wine, cropping, seafood and associated high value food sectors worldwide.Our summer studentship programme creates a special “career experience” for high calibre candidates. Our unique programme includes a full induction training day, a career planning session identifying potential pathways, a specific project – designed for you, as well as a final farewell and awards function.Our sensor work is designed to detect Phytophthora agathidicida, the pathogen responsible for Kauri dieback. Detection of this pathogen in remote locations is, to date, not available. Our proposed system exploits the use of electrochemical sensing techniques coupled with Phytophthora agathidicida zoospore chemical attractants to lure and trigger a detection response, which will be wirelessly transmitted back to a central data receiver. This information will allow users to map out the distribution of the disease in NZ and provide valuable information informing the next step of biocontainment/treatment strategy.This studentship will use standard laboratory procedures to optimise mobile zoospore propagation and use these to underpin chemical attractant responses. The student will also have the opportunity to participate in the initial development of the sensor system interfacing the biological component with the chemical component of the biosensor. The ultimate outcome of this project is to design a remotely located, wireless biosensor that can be utilized to ensure NZ biosecurity has state-of-the-art technology to protect our unique biological heritage.DutiesThe student will be expected to carry out standard biological laboratory techniques, with this project allowing the successful candidate to gain experience in several technologies including: plant pathogen zoospore propagation, plant pathogen chemical attractant assays, microscopy and sterile tissue culture methods. In addition to this, the student will gain an understanding of the electrochemistry technology underpinning our sensor platform.Criteria for the PositionThis position will suit a science undergraduate candidate with an interest in the interface between the science disciplines of biology and chemistry, with an applied focus. A willingness to learn basic biology laboratory skills, whilst having an appreciation for the chemistry underpinning the sensor is a necessity.