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Research PLANT PATHOLOGIST (Postdoc)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory (HCRL), Corvallis, Oregon (https://www.ars.usda.gov/pacific-west-area/corvallis-or/horticultural-crops-research/), invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research position. This position is located in Corvallis, OR, a center for agriculture production of specialty crops and has a temperate type climate. Corvallis is 80 miles south of Portland, OR and 50 miles away from the Pacific Ocean with proximity to a lot of natural beauty.

Selectee will conduct research to identify mechanisms of resistance and develop molecular diagnostic techniques surrounding fungicide resistance in grapevine powdery mildew and other critical grape pathogens. Many of these studies will involve culturing of powdery mildew using several techniques that have been developed by the laboratory. Also, there will be a significant amount of bioinformatics involved in the position with genomic and transcriptomic studies being planned on resistant and sensitive isolates to a number of modes of action. This position is in collaboration with a USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative project titled FRAME networks (www.framenetworks.org), which is a national project aiming to understand fungicide resistance in grapes. The project so far has accumulated a significant volume of genomic (mitochondrial and nuclear genomes) and transcriptomic data, which can accelerate the rapid development of markers. Additionally, we have many isolates that are resistant or sensitive to DMI fungicides without known genetic markers. The selectee will also collaborate with researchers at Michigan State University (i.e. Timothy Miles) and UC Davis (i.e. Ioannis Stergiopoulos), and there should be opportunities to visit these locations throughout the project and collaborate with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in these groups. During this time there may also be opportunities to mentor students and teach as a guest lecture in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University. It is also anticipated that the selectee will collaborate with regional industries and participate in technology transfer. There are several other research areas ongoing in the lab and location that will provide an opportunity for additional collaboration.

This position requires a Ph.D. in plant pathology, molecular biology, microbiology, plant breeding, plant physiology, biological sciences or a related field. Required experience would include the development of molecular biology assays, including but not limited to primer design, assay verification real-time PCR, ddCPR, and general troubleshooting of procedures. A background in bioinformatic pipelines and one or more associated program languages (e.g. python, pearl, C++, etc) in addition to R for transcript assembly, gene ontology determination and analysis and differential gene expression analyses is required as well. Knowledge of current methods and techniques used in plant pathology and/or grape research is preferred but not required. Applicants must be an U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident who will apply for citizenship when eligible. Applicants must clearly indicate in their resume/CV their country of citizenship or legal status. A little over 2 years of funding is currently available for the position but applicants will be appointed for an initial 13-month probationary period with extension following adequate progress on the project. Salary GS-11/12. A comprehensive federal benefits package is available (https://www.ars.usda.gov/careers/employment-benefits/).

Applicants should send a cover letter describing qualifications, a resume or CV with names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references, college transcripts, and a one-page abstract of Ph.D. thesis to Dr. Walt Mahaffee, USDA-ARS, 3420 NW Orchard Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330, walt.mahaffee@usda.gov.

The position is open immediately until filled. USDA/ARS is an equal opportunity employer.