Magdalena Julkowska

Postdoctoral Fellows


Magdalena is of Polish origin, although her scientific interests germinated during her study of Biology at the University of Amsterdam. She completed a MSc in Green Life Sciences and did her PhD under supervision of Christa Testerink and Michel Haring (Plant Physiology) at the University of Amsterdam on natural variation in root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to salt stress. She is studying the role of root architecture in salt stress conditions and using natural variation to discover genes at the root of salinity tolerance. 

Research Interests

The exposure to salt stress affects not only plant growth but also distribution of the mass between individual plant organs. I am interested how this change in plant architecture is accomplished and how it affects plant performance and its salinity tolerance. By combining various approaches such as developmental plant biology, descriptive growth models, bioinformatics and quantitative genetics I would like to disentangle which plant architecture traits and genetic components are contributing to salinity tolerance.

Selected Publications

  • Magdalena M Julkowska, Huub C J Hoefsloot, Selena Mol,Richard Feron, Gert-Jan de Boer, Michel A Haring, Christa Testerink 2014. “Capturing Arabidopsis Root Architecture Dynamics with ROOT-FIT Reveals Diversity in Responses to Salinity.” Plant Physiology
  • Magdalena M Julkowska*, Fionn McLoughlin*, Carlos S Galvan-Ampudia, Johanna M Rankenberg, Dorota Kawa, Maria Klimecka, Michel A Haring, Teun Munnik, Edgar E Kooijman,Christa Testerink 2014. “Identification and Functional Characterization of the Arabidopsis Snf1-Related Protein Kinase SnRK2.4 Phosphatidic Acid-Binding Domain..” Plant, Cell & Environment.
  • Zhen Wei, Magdalena M. Julkowska, Jacques-Olivier Laloë,Yorike Hartman, Gert-Jan de Boer, Richard W. Michelmore,Peter H. van Tienderen, Christa Testerink, M. Eric Schranz 2014. “A Mixed-Model QTL Analysis for Salt Tolerance in Seedlings of Crop-Wild Hybrids of Lettuce.” Molecular Breeding: 1–12.
  • Carlos S Galvan-Ampudia, Magdalena M Julkowska, Essam Darwish, Jacinto Gandullo, Ruud A Korver, Geraldine Brunoud,Michel A Haring, Teun Munnik, Teva Vernoux, Christa Testerink,  2013. “Halotropism Is a Response of Plant Roots to Avoid a Saline Environment.” Current Biology 23(20): 2044–50.


  • 2005 - 2008 - BSc in Biology, University of Amsterdam
  • 2008 - 2010 - MSc in Green Life Sciences, cum laude, University of Amsterdam
  • 2010 - 2015 - PhD in Plant Physiology, University of Amsterdam

Professional Profile

  • 2015-Present: Postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Desert Agriculture KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia