Job Details: Can you help meet the growing global demand for food, feed, and fiber without continuous heavy reliance on synthetic pesticides? Three labs at Penn State, Seogchan Kang (fungal genetics/genomics), Terrence Bell (phytobiolome) and Beth Gugino (vegetable pathology extension), are recruiting a postdoc who will help develop effective an dreliable biocontrol strategies against Fusarium wilt and other soilborne diseases based on an enhanced understanding of what factors cause biocontrol success and failure. Specifically, this USDA Specialty Crop Multi-State Program-funded project will explore how Trichoderma biocontrol agents interact with Fusarium oxysporum, tomato, and root-associated microbial communities through the secretion of diverse molecules, including volatile compounds with signal function and antimicrobial metabolites, and how such interactions affect tomato growth and health. University of Maryland and University of Florida also participate in this project.
Job Requirements: Ph.D. in plant pathology or a related discipline is needed. Experience in setting up and evaluating field and greenhouse experiments is highly desirable. You will take multi-scale (ranging from metabolites and genes to multitrophic organismal interactions in greenhouse and field trials) and multi-disciplinary (e.g., fungal genetics/genomics, chemical ecology, microbiome analysis, metabolomics, molecular imaging, isolation and characterization of potential biocontrol agents) approaches to study how biocontrol agents interact with not just pathogens and also plants and other microbes and how such interactions determine the outcome of biocontrol.