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Postdoctoral Scholar in Agronomy

Position overview

Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment.
See Table 23: Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee, Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow, Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid Direct, Fiscal Year. The salary range for this position is $60,000-$71,952. “Off-scale salaries”,
i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions, qualifications, and experience.

Application Window

Open date: March 15, 2023

Most recent review date: Friday, Apr 14, 2023 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, Jun 30, 2023 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

We are seeking a highly motivated, organized, and dynamic scientist to fill a Postdoctoral Researcher position in agronomy at the University of California, Davis (UCD) to work on a newly funded project evaluating agave production in California.

The incumbent will work within a collaborative group of scientists and faculty from the Department of Viticulture and Enology (V&E), Foundation Plant Services, and potentially the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. The incumbent will also work closely with government agencies and local stakeholders, particularly agave growers in California to evaluate production practices aimed to maximize yield from harvested piñas.

Efforts of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be directed towards evaluating irrigation management strategies, various plant materials suitable for growth in this region, and harvesting/extraction techniques that maximize sugar yields for this crop. Efforts will require communication with researchers and growers in other predominant North American growing regions and comparison of climatic conditions best suited for various plant materials. Dependent on the incumbent’s training and experience, efforts could also focus on plant nutritional physiology.

• 90%

o Characterize and quantify agave growing conditions and plant attributes (e.g., gas exchange physiology of CAM vs C3) over time by using existing plantings to analyze annual growth and differential carbohydrate storage.
o Characterize and quantify genetic diversity agaves on several sites, including viral load and pest pressures over time.
o Determine impact of irrigation to maximize sugar production and enhance maturity per unit applied water on a range of existing plantings of agave species on various sites.
o Record harvest results and create an initial database to share with industry.
o Incorporate plant material into Foundation Plant Services to help ensure clean nursery stock for California growers
o Identify gaps in knowledge for future research, including sensitivity to regional soil conditions, e.g., disease pressures and composition.
o Develop and refine irrigation and nutrient management to grow agave more effectively and enhance agave sugar yield in California.
o Prepare manuscripts for publication.
o Coordinate project group meetings with stakeholders from government, academic, extension, agricultural, tech, and private sectors.
o Present results at conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed journals
• 10%
o Extension, Mentorship, and Outreach


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• Field work experience or interest.
• Professional knowledge of and the ability to integrate information from agronomy, hydrology, climatology, remote sensing, physics, plant physiology, statistics, nutrient uptake, and plant nutrition.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with researchers and students from many different scientific backgrounds, including agency partners and stakeholders.
• Experience designing, planning, and conducting experimental procedures, including the ability to meet project goals in a timely manner, and follow through on project deliverables.
• The ability to communicate research findings both at professional meetings and in high quality peer-reviewed journals.
• Excellent technical, analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills. Strong attention to detail, and meticulous work style, as evidenced by previous research.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• A Ph.D. in Agronomy, Plant Sciences, or a closely related field by start date.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • 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.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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Help contact:

Campus Information

UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco-free campus (

We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. UC Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its community by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment demonstrated through a variety of resources and programs available to academics, staff, and students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of UC Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by members of our academic community who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. UC Davis is making important progress towards our goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a plethora of resources on their website, and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan.” There are a plethora of links available on the About Us webpage where you can learn more about our Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Rankings, Locations, Native American Land Acknowledgement, Sustainability, Visiting UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and Campus Safety.

The university is consistently ranked among the top institutions in the world for campus sustainability practices by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. UC Davis is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and repeatedly shown its commitment to preserving a healthy and sustainable environment for generations to come.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs - With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment.(Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Davis, California