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Postdoctoral Research Associate - SLU position
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri
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Date Posted 12/19/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

This position will be hired through Saint Louis University as a University employee. Benefits available to this position can be found hereReview of applications will begin immediately (August 2019) and continue until the position is filled.

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Adapting perennial crops for climate change: Graft transmissible effects of rootstocks on grapevine shoots.

The Miller Lab Group, a joint faculty partnership between Saint Louis University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral research associate to join a dynamic team investigating how grapevine rootstocks derived from native North American Vitisspecies modulate shoot system phenotypes in grafted domesticated grapevines. Funded by the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program, the project is entitled “Adapting perennial crops for climate change: Graft transmissible effects of rootstocks on grapevine shoots” and is currently in the third year of a five year award. This project is a collaborative effort between researchers at the Danforth Plant Science Center, Michigan State University, Missouri State University, Saint Louis University, South Dakota State University, Ohio State University, University of Missouri, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, and an industry partner. We anticipate the position will be based at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO; however, we are open to the possibility of a remote postdoc and encourage qualified candidates to apply.

Duties of the postdoctoral research associate include 75% research and 25% administration as the project manager. The research component of the position will focus on analyzing and integrating diverse and large data sets to achieve a comprehensive understanding of how rootstock genotype influences shoot system phenotypes. For the past three years, we have collected comprehensive scion phenotype data, at three times points over the course of three years, in an experimental vineyard in southwestern Missouri. The last field collection date for this aim is September, 2019. Data collected include leaf shape, leaf ion concentrations, physiology measurements (photosynthetic rate stomatal conductance), and gene expression in reproductive and vegetative tissues, among others. The postdoc will lead efforts to develop various approaches to analyze and integrate data sets, using approaches such as mixed effect linear models incorporating rootstock genotype, irrigation, time, tissue, and interaction terms, among others. The postdoc will be tasked with leading manuscript preparation describing these data. In addition, the postdoc may contribute to data collection and analysis for other project aims, including root-shoot combinations distributed in commercial vineyards in California, and in a rootstock mapping population that was planted in Columbia, MO and elsewhere in Spring 2019. In addition, the postdoctoral research associate will have the opportunity for training in the grapevine industry through our industry partner, and will be expected to contribute to the development outreach and educational programming at two major botanical gardens. The administration component of the job involves scheduling and participating in monthly and annual PI meetings, and compiling annual project reports.


The successful candidate will have

1) expertise and a proven track record in one or more of the following areas: agronomy, botany, computational biology, plant evolutionary biology, genomics, physiology, statistics, transcriptomics, viticulture, and a strong desire to learn areas with which they are less familiar;

2) PhD in a field related to one or more of the research areas listed above (required by the starting date of employment);

3) strong interest in crop improvement and perennial agriculture,

4) outstanding organizational skills, strong work ethic, positive attitude, and a team player who gets along well with others. The anticipated start date for this position is September 1, 2019 but later start dates may be considered.

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