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Postdoctoral Scholar in Woody Plant Physiology

Application Window

Open date: March 23rd, 2021

Last review date: Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 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 30, 2021 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.

Position description

Job Purpose: A post-doctoral research scholar position is available to conduct research projects aiming to address gaps of knowledge on the effects of climate change affecting grapevine carbohydrate metabolism, leading to changes in carbohydrate translocation and subsequent berry flavonoid content and composition and assist with extending the resultant information to stakeholders. Current studies include projects aiming to understand the symptomology of the viral diseases in different growing regions, rootstock/scion interactions, and plant growth regulator mediated ripening advancement, carbohydrate translocation experiments, and shoot girdling and nitrogenous fertilizer additions as well as partial filtering of ultraviolet and near infra-red radiation in situ. Project outcomes will be used to inform growers and stakeholders on effects and mitigation of climate change on wine grape vineyards in California.

Job Function: Scientific research

Job Description: A postdoctoral research scholar position is available in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California Davis working at the Oakville Experiment Station. The post-doctoral scholar will be expected to analyze data streams from field grown, as well as potted grapevine trials where a series of treatments will be applied. The trials may include exogenous plant regulator dosing and application, applied water amounts, canopy management, rootstock/scion interactions, selective filtering of solar radiation spectra as well as girdling and nitrogenous fertilizer applications to mimic vius disease symptomology.

The responsibility of the candidate is to oversee and/or participate in all aspects of the research project: designing sampling protocols, overseeing field sample and field data collection with infrared gas analyzer, conducting carbohydrate and low molecular weight flavonoid analysis using reverse-phased high performance liquid chromatography, preparing tissue for RNA and DNA extraction, constructing libraries for appropriate RNA sequencing and rt-PCR analysis and other laboratory analyses, communicating with growers, writing reports, and preparing manuscripts for refereed journal publication. Supervision and interaction with graduate and undergraduate students working within the project is also expected.

Job Requirements:
Applicants with a Ph.D. degree in Plant Biology, Plant Physiology, Environmental Chemistry, or a related field will be considered. Candidates should have skill and an understanding of plant biology, molecular biology, infra-red gas exchange equipment, and reverse-phased HPLC methods. A valid California driver’s license or the ability to obtain one is required. Candidates with a proven work ethic, publication record, leadership, and team building skills will be given preference.

Field experiments (30%)
• Monitor phenological development, operate spectroradiometer for transmittance and reflection of solar radiation, operate infrared gas analyzer for leaf gas exchange measurements
• Apply field treatments as per experimental design
• Monitor plant water status and gas exchange weekly and schedule applied water amounts

Laboratory Experimental Research (30%)
• Extract RNA and conduct gene expression experiments in line with project objectives
• Operate RP-HPLC used for the analysis of grape carbohydrates, and berry flavonoids.
• Follow experimental protocols and standard operating procedures for grapevine primary metabolites.
• Maintaining lab safety procedures and material safety data sheets.
Research Communication (25%)
• Ability to conduct statistical analysis and library building for gene expression experiments using the R language
• Write and provide research updates.
• Participate in stakeholder, extension and scientific presentations
• Write and submit peer-reviewed research articles.

Proposal Development (15%)
• Work with supervisor and research team on proposal development and preparation.
• Develop and submit peripheral supporting project proposals to local, state, and/or federal grant programs.


• A cover letter outlining your interest, expertise, and technical skills relevant to this position.
• A curriculum vitae.
• Copies of transcripts (unofficial acceptable with application).
• Two copies of publications – including one first author peer reviewed paper – exemplary of your writing and your knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to this position.
• Contact information for three references, including name, current position, email, phone number, and relationship to you.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

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

  • Transcript - Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

  • Publication 1 - Two copies of publications – including one first author peer reviewed paper – exemplary of your writing and your knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to this position.

  • Publication 2 - Two copies of publications – including one first author peer reviewed paper – exemplary of your writing and your knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to this position.

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

Job location

Oakville, California