MSA 'jobs'

The Smith Lab in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher for Fall 2014 to work on a recently funded NSF proposal “Symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi in southern South America – macroecology and evolutionary history from community to landscape scale.” This is a 1-year position with the possibility of extension for up to 3 years.

This project will document the biodiversity and biogeography of ectomycorrhizal fungi in southern South America, with a focus on native trees in the genera Nothofagus and Salix. This work will use a combination of environmental DNA sequencing and specimen-based sampling to explore the effects of environmental factors (such as soil pH, host plant density, and host diversity) on diversity and community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Phylogenetic methods will also be used to explore the evolutionary history of fungi from southern South America (in collaboration with Dr. Brandon Matheny at the University of Tennessee). Depending on the candidate, there may be opportunities for additional studies involving community ecology, fungal-animal interactions, and/or systematics of ectomycorrhizal fungi. This work will involve extensive travel and fieldwork in Chile and Argentina with subsequent laboratory studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in ecology, microbiology, plant pathology, or related field and also extensive experience studying the ecology, evolution, and/or systematics of fungi. The candidate must show evidence of strong organizational skills, the ability to complete research projects, and excellent written and spoken English language abilities. This position will involve both field and laboratory research. The candidate must have relevant molecular and computer skills and must also be able to independently conduct field studies. The candidate must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive a car. Spanish language experience and/or experience with traveling and working in Latin America is preferred.

To apply send

1. your curriculum vitae
2. a short statement detailing your interest in the position and relevant experiences
3. contact information for two references

to Dr. Matthew E. Smith at

Application Deadline: 1 September 2014 or until the position is filled

Assistant Professor
Evolutionary Ecology of Plants or Fungi
Oregon State University

The Department of Botany and Plant Pathology ( seeks applicants for a 9-month, full-time (1.0 FTE), tenure-track faculty position in Evolutionary Ecology of Plants or Fungi.

The successful candidate will be expected to establish an innovative and competitive research program that pursues scholarly work in the area of Evolutionary Ecology. The research specialization within evolutionary ecology is open and includes, but is not limited to: plants, fungi, or plant-fungal interactions (e.g., mycorrhizae, endophytes, pathogens, etc.). Emphasis is placed on research that integrates across multiple levels of inquiry and combines field, experimental, laboratory and/or computational approaches, and is relevant to natural resources and/or agriculture.

The candidate will also contribute to undergraduate and graduate education in introductory courses and/or in area of expertise; mentor and serve as research advisor to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in their advanced degree programs in Botany and Plant Pathology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Environmental Science or related programs; and act as advisor and research mentor to undergraduate students.

Required qualifications include a PhD with research experience relevant to Evolutionary Ecology of Plants or Fungi, and a commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity. Postdoctoral experience is strongly preferred. Other preferred qualifications include potential for developing an interdisciplinary research program and effective teaching.

To review the position description and apply, go to posting #0012761 at OSU is an AA/EOE. For full consideration, apply by 09/15/14 when review of applications will begin. Closing date is 10/15/14

The Forest Entomology and Symbiology team at the University of Florida is seeking TWO POSTDOCS:

Postdoc 1: FUNGAL TAXONOMY. – Discover and describe lots of new fungal symbionts of insects using culturing, multi-marker genotyping, and imaging technology of your choice.

Postdoc 2: FUNGAL METAGENOMICS. – Characterize communities of fungal symbionts inside beetles using high-throughput shotgun sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA.

Our team studies the symbiosis between wood boring insects and fungi ( Our projects range from fundamental research on coevolution to management of invasive pests in the world’s forests. Our team is young, growing, and heavily multidisciplinary – join us! Both postdocs will also collaborate with the UF Mycological Herbarium, the UF Forest Pathology lab, and the UF Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research.

Apply by email to with the subject header “Symbiosis postdoc 2014”, and specify which project you are interested in. Please submit your CV (include evidence of ability to get projects finished and papers written) and contacts to three most recent supervisors.

Start: any time during the Fall of 2014.
Application deadline: July 20, 2014

The Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is searching broadly at the assistant professor level for a researcher who studies the ecology or epidemiology of plant-associated microbes through the use of emerging and novel quantitative methods. Areas of focus could include, but are not limited to: role of plant pathogens in the ecology of agricultural or natural systems; ecology of plant-associated microbes; population genetics of plant pathogens; metapopulation and dispersal dynamics; or the influence of landscapes and the physical environment on host-pathogen dynamics. We expect the incumbent to develop a research program with both empirical and theoretical components that form a bridge between basic and applied research. Further, we expect the incumbent to collaborate with colleagues in other programs such as plant biology, microbiology, ecology, modeling and related disciplines. The successful candidate will also be expected to develop a vigorous extramurally funded research program and to teach and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. The position carries a 70% research / 30% teaching distribution of effort, and a 9-month appointment. Teaching responsibilities include leading a graduate level course in ecology, epidemiology and control of plant diseases. Requirements include: a Ph.D. in plant pathology, microbiology, ecology, botany, or related discipline; a strong foundation in the principles and concepts of plant pathology and relevant research experience; effective oral and written communication skills; and a positive attitude for teamwork, including the ability to lead and motivate others. The University of Wisconsin attracts excellent graduate students and offers high-quality research and teaching facilities. Many opportunities exist on the campus for collaboration across a broad array of disciplines. Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, is a picturesque and progressive city with a strong economy and a vibrant cultural environment. To apply, compile the following into a single pdf file: cover letter, statements of teaching and research interests, and curriculum vitae, and submit to: Arrange to have copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and three letters of reference emailed to the same address. Questions regarding the position may be directed to Professor Murray Clayton, Applications received by September 1, 2014 will be assured full consideration; review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. For additional information about the University of Wisconsin, the department, and Madison, please see the links at

Research Assistant
Lowbush Blueberry Disease Program
School of Biology and Ecology

The research program for plant disease on lowbush blueberry is looking for a Research Assistant to conduct and support lowbush blueberry research in the lab and in the field. Tasks include implementing and documenting results of laboratory, field and greenhouse experiments. Research involves treatment application, and data collection, tabulation, analysis and summary.

Typically has the education associated with a B.S. or B.A. degree in a related area of science required. MS degree or equivalent experience preferred. Knowledge of and ability to apply experimental and registered pesticides is required; Certification as a Commercial Pesticide Applicators License for category 10 1B is required within 6 months of hire. Demonstrated excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills are required. Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment and initiative and manage multiple tasks and deadlines are required. Successful supervisory experience is preferred. The position requires the ability to travel and a valid driver’s license. Ability to collect research samples in field conditions under sometimes adverse weather conditions and sometimes alone. Ability to lift up to 30lbs and carry it up to 200ft. This is a 12 month position, contingent on grant funding with a salary range of $30,170 – $33,500 depending upon qualifications and skills. Review of applications to begin on June 1st, 2014. The full job description can be found at Appropriate background checks are required. University of Maine is an EO/AA employer.

If you are interested in being part of our team, please apply with a letter of application and your resume at You will need to create a profile and application. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Screening of applications will begin June 1, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

Postdoctoral Position – Fungal Gene Manipulation and Secondary Metabolites

University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

Position description:
A postdoctoral position focused on the activation of dormant genes for the production of secondary metabolites in fungi as anti-cancer compounds is available in the Cao lab. This project will use genetic approaches (e.g., modulation of global regulators, manipulation of regulation factors, and promoter exchange etc.) to investigate the gene regulation in model organisms (e.g., S. cerevisiae, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium spp. etc.) for fungal secondary metabolites. The methodologies will be applied to study endophytic and marine fungi collected in Hawaii; and mutant strains with specific differences in metabolite expression will be investigated for novel anti-cancer agents.

Minimum requirements:
Ph.D. from an accredited college or university in Molecular Biology with a specialization in mycology, fungal genetic, genomics, or related fields. Ability to activate the silent genes of endophytic and marine fungi using innovative genetic approaches for the production of novel natural products for their anti-cancer activity. Additional experience in sequencing and analysis of next-generation sequence data, bioinformatics and comparative genomics, HPLC, Mass Spectrometry, and NMR etc. Strong publication record; independence and creativity; very good written and oral communication skills. The initial appointment is for 1 year. Continuation of employment is dependent upon program/operational needs, availability of funds, satisfactory work performance, and compliance with applicable Federal/State laws. Start date is flexible.

To apply:
Interested applicants should contact Dr. Shugeng Cao ( and include a CV, a cover letter stating research interests and qualification, and contact information for three references. Screening of applicants will begin June 01, 2014 until a suitable candidate is found.

Cooperative Extension Assistant Specialist Position in Plant Pathology.

Applications are invited for a Cooperative Extension (CE) Plant Pathology Specialist at the Assistant level (rank and step based on education and experience). The position is 75% (CE)/25% OR with an academic career-track, 11-month appointment in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside. The position will be available starting July 1, 2014. The individual must have a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology or a closely related discipline and a record of research productivity. This position is to address diagnosis, etiology, epidemiology, and management of diseases of vegetables (e.g., cole, cucurbit, solanaceous, lettuce, etc.), melons, and strawberries in California. The incumbent is expected to develop productive working relationships with research counterparts, UCCE County and regionally based Advisors and Specialists, commodity group representatives, chemical and biological industry personnel, state and federal agricultural agencies, and non-government organizations. The successful candidate will also be responsible for the development of an innovative applied research and educational extension program. Research should emphasize relevant sustainable and integrated disease management strategies that will complement the extension program and lead to scholarly contributions. Applications must be submitted on-line at A current curriculum vita (CV), statements of both extension and research interests and goals, and three letters of reference should be included in the application. Questions may be directed to: Dr. James E. Adaskaveg, Chair, Extension Specialist Search Committee Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0122. Phone/Fax: 951-827-3880. Other Contact: Wendy Alvarez, Administrative Assistant 951-827-3598. E-mail addresses:; Review of applications will begin on June 9, 2014. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Postdoctoral Position – Fungal Genomics and Metabolomics
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Position description:

A postdoctoral position focused on comparative genomics, metabolomics, and regulatory mechanisms of secondary metabolites in fungi is available in the Bushley lab. This project will focus on population genomics of fungi (Fusarium, Tolypocladium spp.) to investigate regulation and evolution of secondary metabolite genes, clusters, and metabolites. The project will adopt an interdisciplinary approach that integrates next-generation genome sequencing and assembly, comparative genomics, and RNA-Seq experiments with analyses of chemical products. Genome resequencing will examine the roles of structural variation, transposition, selection, genome methylation, and other evolutionary processes in driving the diversification of secondary metabolite genes and clusters. Strain specific differences in metabolite expression will be investigated under a variety of different media conditions and data will be integrated to develop and analyze metabolic and regulatory networks involved in controlling secondary metabolism.

Minimum requirements:
A Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics, mycology, genomics, chemistry, biochemistry, or related fields. The ideal candidate will have existing skills in two or more of the following: experience in sequencing and analysis of next-generation sequence data, bioinformatics and comparative genomics, molecular biology, mass spectrometry, nmr, and a willingness to learn new techniques. The initial appointments is for 1 year, with an opportunity for renewal for a second year. The position is available beginning in June 2014. Start date is flexible. Salary range $38,000 – $43,000 depending on experience, plus health benefits.

To apply:
Any questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Kathryn Bushley ( Informal inquiries are welcome. Applicants must apply through the University of Minnesota Office of Human Resources website ( and include a CV, a cover letter detailing research interests and experience, and contact information for three references. Screening of applicants will begin May 15 until a suitable candidate is found.

A postdoctoral position is available in the department of Plant Biology, in the School of Integrative Biology, at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. PIs Ferrer (aquatic mycologist), Heath (plant and microbe evolution), and Dalling (plant and fungal community ecology) are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to work on a NSF-funded Dimensions of Biodiversity project aimed at understanding the ecological and genetic controls on fungal community assembly and decomposition function in tropical wood-decomposing aquatic fungi. Both the Heath and Dalling labs are lively, highly-collaborative environments with students and postdocs working on a range of topics in ecology and evolution of plants, bacteria, and fungi.

The duties of the project postdoc will include preparing libraries for metagenomic sequencing of aquatic fungi communities from environmental DNA samples, RNAseq of cultured fungi in response to various environmental treatments, downstream bioinformatic and statistical analyses, and writing manuscripts based on these results.

Expertise in some or all of the following areas is desired: Molecular biology, (meta)genomics, bioinformatics, statistical analysis, ecology, evolution.

Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes:
- A strong publication record from their PhD (papers published, in press, or submitted).
- Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

All candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field. The position is available for 2 years, with the first year as a probationary period, and will include a competitive salary and full benefits.

Application review will begin May 1, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled. Start date is flexible, probably August 2014 or later. All materials should be submitted to the PIs below for consideration. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, a brief description of past research accomplishments and future research goals (under two pages), and the names and contact information for three references.

Contact Dr. Katy Heath regarding the position or application process. For further information about the Heath lab, visit the lab webpage accessible at:

Katy Heath
Assistant Professor
Department of Plant Biology
University of Illinois

The University of São Paulo (Department of Botany) and The George Washington University (Computational Biology Institute) seek candidates for a postdoctoral fellowship in biodiversity informatics for up to three years. The successful candidate would split time between the two host institutions working on applications of next-gen sequencing approaches to biodiversity science through effective informatics. We seek a candidate with a PhD in bioinformatics, evolutionary biology, biodiversity science, or a related field (or anticipate a PhD by a targeted start date of September 1, 2014). The candidate should have a strong background in bioinformatics, evolutionary methodology, and project management skills. The candidate will work directly with Drs. Lúcia Lohmann (São Paulo), Amy Zanne, and Keith Crandall (Washington DC) and the bioGENESIS working group to provide an evolutionary framework for biodiversity science. Our specific project is to use next-generation DNA sequencing approaches to characterize forest and associated soil communities and their diversity across ecosystems using novel informatic approaches. Interested candidates should send their CV and letter of interest by April 22, 2014 to For questions concerning this opportunity, please contact Lúcia Lohmann, Amy Zanne or Keith Crandall

Next »