Postdoctoral Researcher, Boxwood Blight

We are seeking applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to study the interaction between boxwood plants and the boxwood blight fungus Calonectria pseudonaviculata (syn. Cylindrocladium buxicola) using microscopic bio-imaging and transcriptomic investigations.

The incumbent will generate strains of fluorescent protein-labeled C. pseudonaviculata and inoculate susceptible and non-susceptible boxwood plants to evaluate the infection process and fungal development in planta. Available bio-imaging platforms will include digital light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, variable pressure and low temperature scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the Oxford X-ray Diffraction System for qualitative and quantitative identification of chemical elements. The incumbent will simultaneously generate RNA-Seq data from the host/pathogen interaction to develop hypotheses related to the colonization of hosts by this pathogen.

The position is based on the campus of the USDA-ARS Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Complex in Beltsville, MD, the world’s largest and most diverse agricultural research center, located just 16 miles north of the U.S. capitol city of Washington, D.C. The incumbent will work under the guidance of Dr. Jo Anne Crouch at the Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratories and in collaboration with Dr. Gary Bauchan at the on-site core Electron & Confocal Microscopy Unit. The Crouch lab is part of a multidisciplinary, multi-state collaboration between the USDA-ARS, the U.S. National Arboretum, the IR-4 Project, and eleven university and experiment station research groups, working in cooperation with the nursery industry in an integrated, coordinated effort toward the common goal of understanding and mitigating boxwood blight disease.
* Qualifications *
This position requires a recent (within 4 years) Ph.D. in plant pathology, microbiology, mycology, molecular biology or a closely related field that has equipped the applicant with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position. Knowledge of fungal transformation, advanced microscopy techniques, biostatistics and transcriptome analysis are desirable. Demonstrated ability to conduct experiments independently, produce quality research output and a strong publication record are required.

* Terms of Appointment and Application Instructions *
This is a two-year appointment, at the GS-11 level (starting salary $62,467).

Citizenship restrictions apply. Eligible Foreign Nationals must meet both Appropriations Law and Immigration Law requirements found under “Foreign Nationals Eligible for Federal Employment” at http://www.afm.ars.usda.gov/hrd/EmployForeignNationals/index.htm.

Visit the following website for instructions on how to apply for the position: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/331850000.

Informal inquiries are welcome: Dr. Jo Anne Crouch, joanne.crouch[AT]ars.usda.gov
ARS is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until a suitable candidate is found.

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