The University of Nevada, Reno, Biochemistry department is recruiting for Postdoctoral Scholar. This position is available for up to three years to work on an USDA NIFA-funded project: Opuntia ficus-indica: A highly water-use efficient and productive biomass feedstock for semi-arid lands. The long-term goal of this integrated research-extension project is to expand the use of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) as highly water-use efficient, highly productive, and climate-resilient biomass feedstock for semi-arid regions of the U.S. The project will leverage existing public plant breeding infrastructure through collaboration with the USDA ARS National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resource Unit (NALPGRU) in Parlier, CA and incentivize industry participation by optimizing germplasm selections and testing of production parameters, such as water, fertilizer, viral, microbial, and insect pest management, thereby reducing risks for future investments by the private sector.
The successful applicant will assume a leading role in completing project objectives including: 1) Developing molecular identifiers from complete chloroplast genome sequence information for resolving the genetic structure of the germplasm collection of O. ficus-indica to remove genetically identical accessions and resolved species designations; 2) Evaluating available public germplasm collections of O. ficus-indica for biomass productivity under standard irrigation and fertilization conditions in the field; 3) Refining productivity models and performing life-cycle assessment (LCA) and life-cycle costing (LCC) analyses; 4) Developing effective strategies to overcome barriers to production including overcoming Opuntia stunting disease (OSD) and supporting effective insect management programs for insect pests; and 5) Developing an innovative extension program to inform interested stakeholders about the benefits of Opuntia production systems in arid and semi-arid regions and disseminating research results through public outreach and education. This research project is expected to have a major and transformative impact on the mainstream development of this biomass crop for water-limited environments in the semi-arid and arid regions of the southwestern US. Furthermore, this project will result in the development of water-wise and climate-resilient biomass feedstock production systems ensuring sustainable biomass production in the face of hotter, drier climates of the future. For more information about the project please see: Cushman JC et al. (2015) Development and use of bioenergy feedstocks for semi-arid and arid lands. J. Exp. Bot. 66: 4177–4193 and the project website: (https://naes.unr.edu/opuntia/).
The position is in the laboratory of Dr. John Cushman in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno in collaboration with the National Arid Land Plant Genetic Resource Unit (NALPGRU) in Parlier, CA (https://www.ars.usda.gov/pacific-west-area/davis-ca/natl-clonal-germplasm-rep-tree-fruit-nut-crops-grapes/docs/national-arid-land-plant-genetic-repository-parlier-ca/). The University of Nevada, Reno has well-established, state-of-the-art genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics facilities. The Reno/Sparks metroplex has a population of greater than 350,000 and is located in the Truckee Meadows on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range about four hours east of San Francisco.
Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a molecular life science field by time of appointment and a solid background in molecular biology, biochemistry, functional genomics, and bioinformatics.
Experience and expertise with functional genomics, genome assembly and annotation, and plant bioinformatics is an asset, but is not required.
Attach the following attachments to your application
2) Cover letter
3) Contact information for three professional references
This posting is open until filled. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately. Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received or a hiring decision has been made.
Internal Number: R0116836
About University of Nevada
Founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno is the State of Nevada’s land grant institution with a statewide mission and presence. The University of Nevada, Reno is a Carnegie I Research Institution and has been recognized as a “Top Tier” Best National University by U.S. News & World Report. With an enrollment of nearly 21,000 students we offer 145 Tier 1 accredited degree programs. Located in the picturesque Truckee Meadows the University of Nevada, Reno is surrounded by numerous state and national parks, is 45 minutes from beautiful Lake Tahoe, and four hours from San Francisco.
The University of Nevada, Reno recognizes that diversity promotes excellence in education and research. We are an inclusive and engaged community and recognize the added value that students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds bring to the educational experience. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is committed to providing a place of work and learning free of discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, disability, whether actual or perceived by others (including service-connected disabilities), gender (including pregnancy related conditions), military status or military ob...ligations, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, race, or religion. See: https://www.unr.edu/equal-opportunity-title-ix for more details.