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Assistant Project Scientist/Subbarao Lab

Recruitment Period

Open date: February 6th, 2019
Last review date: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Friday, Apr 26, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency. Appointees with Project (e.g., Scientist) titles may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program (i.e., Professor, Professional Researcher, Specialist in Cooperative Extension, etc), he/she is not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. He/she will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal Investigator status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.
Research activity (65%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to analyzing sequenced genomes of Verticillium dahliae and developing prediction models to estimate microsclerotia based on the soil microbiomes. The candidate will help to determine research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigator. He/she will design specific projects independently including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques and discuss with the Principal Investigator. The candidate will implement these research protocols. In some cases, the candidate may supervise, train and counsel postdocs, students or technicians regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments. He/she will help establish collaborators with nationally and internationally known researchers to broaden the scope of research and increase the impact on agriculture and the fundamental knowledge of this cosmopolitan fungal pathogen.
This position, supported in part by a CDFA-funded project, is primarily devoted to research involving Verticillium dahliae, the causal agent of Verticillium wilt diseases on a variety of hosts. With the phase-out of methyl bromide for pre-plant soil fumigation, soilborne disease pressure is expected to increase in strawberry production in California. In addition, the disease is expected to spread even more on lettuce because effective fumigants are unavailable. A major constraint growers face at this time is obtaining timely and accurate estimate of the microsclerotial numbers in the soil prior to planting. Current methods take 8-10 weeks following soil sampling. Previous research in the lab have demonstrated the feasibility of estimating the numbers of V. dahliae microsclerotia in the soil based on the soil microbiomes. Knowing the propagule density is critical for the timing of fumigation, determination of application rates, and the choice of crop to plant. To make propagule density data more readily available, this project proposes using a machine-learning approach to develop a model that can accurately predict propagule density in the soil, based on quantitative characteristics of the soil microbiome. The second part of the project seeks to analyze sequenced data from nearly 160 genomes of V. dahliae strains to understand various aspects of the biology of the pathogen. The candidate is expected to contribute significantly to this project as well. The long-term goals of both projects are to develop effective, economically and technically feasible pest management systems and outreach strategies that are applicable to many commodities in coastal California.
A proven track record of contemporary molecular biology, metagenomics, machine learning, and plant pathology techniques is essential; familiarity with various functional genomics, and bioinformatics tools and approaches is required.
The candidate will be expected to design research projects independently and implement research protocols. The candidate will also train, supervise and counsel students and other postdocs in related research, as well as establish collaborations with researchers nationally and internationally, to broaden the scope of research and increase its impact on agriculture and the fundamental knowledge of this cosmopolitan fungal pathogen. The candidate is also expected to avail collaborative opportunities with other postdocs in the lab and develop independent ideas of research into this system and discuss with the Principal Investigator.

The candidate will be expected to publish research results in scientific journals as well as to present research at scientific meetings.
The candidate will assist in acquiring proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The candidate will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies. The candidate will interact with funding agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.
The candidate will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups.
The candidate will engage in public outreach activities that include presenting scientific research results to the general public and providing relevant advice to individuals and public agencies.
The candidate will engage in University service activities such as guest lecturing and committee service. Teaching classroom courses is not an expectation of this position.
Ph.D. degree in plant pathology or related agricultural sciences field is required.
UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis-- indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.

Job location

Salinas, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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