Tag Archives: ecology

Job: Univ of Wisconsin, Plant-Microbe Ecologist or Epidemiologist

University of Wisconsin, Madison is advertising a position for Plant-Microbe Ecologist or Epidemiologist. The text below is taken from U. Wisconsin Eco_Epi_Ad

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: ecoepisearch@plantpath.wisc.edu. 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, mkc@plantpath.wisc.edu. 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.


Postdoc: Populus microbiome/mycobiome at ORNL

New postdoc position in Chris Schadt’s lab at Oak Ridge National Lab

The Biosciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (http://www.ornl.gov) is seeking a postdoctoral researcher in the area of microbial ecology. The selected candidate will join an international team of investigators focused on understanding ecology of microbial communities as well as their responses to various anthropogenically induced changes (climate, contaminants, land use, etc.) in multiple systems.

Major Duties/Responsibilities
Design, conduct and interpret laboratory and field based research; lead and contribute to the development of scientific manuscripts and proposals for the Plant-Microbe Interfaces (PMI) project. The available project position will focus on understanding community structure and function of microbes associated with Populus tree species as driven by host genotypic and environmental factors [more at: http://pmi.ornl.gov/]. Research is facilitated by a full range of state-of-the-art equipment/facilities for microbiology, molecular biology, and genomics, in a professional environment with excellent technical support.

Qualifications Required

Qualifications Required: Ph.D. degree in microbiology, ecology, molecular biology, or related field. Applicant should have demonstrated expertise in both modern molecular ecology methods such as quantitative PCR, DNA sequence analyses, as well as working with the informatics tools for microbiome and metagenomics studies. Demonstrated expertise must include a track record of primary contributions to peer-reviewed publications.

Qualifications Preferred: Priority will be given to applicants with a successful history of interdisciplinary, integrative, and innovative research in this area. Familiarity with software tools for next generation DNA sequence analysis of rRNA and metagenomic microbial datasets as well as the ability to program and script in R, Python or Perl to customize such analyses would also be preferred.

Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.

Will you always be able to satisfy that chocolate craving?

Crinipellis_perniciosa_mushroomNPR had a story this weekend on Cocoa plantation collapse and the ecological aftermath of the changes the witches’ broom fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa has wreaked. The genome sequence project for this Homobasidiomycete fungus (also known as Crinipellis perniciosa, phylogenetic relationships discussed by Aime and Philips-Mora 2005) is underway at the Laboratory Genomica e Expressao at UNICAMP, Brazil.  The witches’s broom (not this witches’ broom) is named because of the bristly form it induces in the cacao plants.

The genome project will hopefully improve the diagnosis and treatment work that is needed.  Beyond the insatiable need for chocolate, the NPR story does talk about the impact on farmers, the economy, and the environment with the loss of these cacao plantations.

Some links:

I was also browsing some articles on other fungi that inhabit cacao plants and saw a recent survey that includes fungi that produce mycotoxins.

Microbial Ecology in Science

Science has a section dedicated to Microbial Ecology including a review describing microbial biogeography studying communities on the basis of trait rather than taxonomic diversity. Certainly this interlinks with metagenomic approaches well, something I’ve been thinking about more after visiting some of the folks at Montana State Thermal Biology Institute and all the increasingly massive datasets like what CAMERA provides.

Fungal Genetics 2007 details

I’m including a recapping as many of the talks as I remember. There were 6 concurrent sessions each afternoon so you have to miss a lot of talks. The conference was bursting at the seams as it was- at least 140 people had to be turned away beyond the 750 who attended.

If there was any theme in the conference it was “Hey we are all using these genome sequences we’ve been talking about getting”. I only found the overview talks that solely describe the genome solely a little dry as compared to those more focused on particular questions. I guess my genome palate is becoming refined.

Continue reading Fungal Genetics 2007 details