19 July 2011

Postdoctoral Position- Washington State University

Position Announcement

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Plant Pathology

Washington State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Pullman, WA. A Postdoctoral
Research Associate position is available for a project on  epidemiology and management of
stunting in onion bulb and pea crops in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon,
associated with and other soilborne pathogens. The successful candidate will take the lead on
extensive field, lab, and greenhouse trials for this project. Position responsibilities and duties
include designing statistically-appropriate experiments, timely and effective data analyses and
management, effective communication and presentation of results at stakeholder and scientific
meetings, successful publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals, assistance with
additional grant writing to support this project, and collegial participation with the team of
scientists and stakeholders associated with this project, as well as efficient independent work in a
diversity of field, lab, and greenhouse environments. Laboratory techniques required involve
classical mycology, including isolation, culturing, identification and maintenance of fungal
cultures. Molecular skills required for this  project include the ability to complete
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analyses, including genomic DNA isolations, regular and real-time
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, agarose gel electrophoresis, molecular cloning, and
sequencing and sequence analyses. Responsibilities include extended field trips in the Pacific
Northwest USA for field trial preparation, maintenance, data and sample collection, harvest, etc.,
with extended periods of physical field work. The incumbent is expected to collaborate
professionally with regional, national, and international stakeholders and cooperators. 

Required qualifications:  PhD in plant pathology, soil microbiology, mycology, or a closely
related field that fits the technical expertise needed for this project. Demonstrated background in
basic plant pathology techniques, with expertise in plant-microbe interactions and fungal plant
pathogens. Ability to conduct extensive field trials; design statistically valid field, greenhouse,
and lab trials; and analyze and interpret data using appropriate statistical methods. The successful
candidate must be able to conduct research independently and have excellent written and oral
communication skills. The applicant must demonstrate careful attention to detail, excellent
record keeping, and ability to organize their time effectively to manage multiple concurrent
research projects. The applicant must have held a valid US driver’s license for at least 2 years, or
be able to obtain a US driver’s license within 1 month of starting this position and have at least 2
years’ prior driving experience. The applicant must be willing to drive a pickup truck. The
applicant must be able to carry up to 50 lb bags of onion bulbs, and be willing to learn and
implement new techniques as appropriate for advancement of the project.

Desired qualifications:  Demonstrated experience with research methods on soilborne plant
diseases. Basic molecular research skills, including effective use of regular and real-time PCR
assays, and DNA cloning  and sequencing. Familiarity with onion bulb production systems, as
well as diseases of onion. Demonstrated competence with statistically-sound epidemiological
research methods. Experience with grant writing.  Availability: This is a temporary, full-time position. The initial appointment is for 1 year, and is
renewable depending on satisfactory performance and availability of funding. The incumbent
will be based on the main campus of Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, WA,
working under the supervision of Drs. Tim Paulitz (USDA ARS) and Lindsey du Toit (WSU), as
well as other stakeholders and scientists cooperating on the project. Salary is commensurate with
experience and includes annual leave and medical benefits. To apply visit www.wsujobs.com.
Be prepared to submit a letter of application describing your interests and addressing the
qualifications listed above, as well as a curriculum vitae, transcripts, and  provide names and
contact information for 3 people willing to provide 3 letters of reference.
For information please contact  Jeanne Burritt, Washington State University Mount Vernon
NWREC, E-mail: jburritt@wsu.edu, Phone: 360-848-6123 

Screening: Begins July 26, 2011. 


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