Join our Team

Join Our Team

Postdoctoral Researcher in Leonelli Lab

Join a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that is working towards Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) in crops. A Postdoctoral Researcher position is available in Dr. Laurie Leonelli’s group to pioneer innovation in photosynthesis research. Our group develops tools to manipulate energy harvesting, energy dissipation, and carotenoid composition in crop canopies. These strategies have demonstrated potential to increase yields without compromising sustainability. Come grow with us!

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in a relevant field, experience in genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry, and an eager willingness to learn and apply new techniques. Positive attitude is required, experience with photosynthesis is a strong plus. This position is highly cross-disciplinary in nature and a spirit of collaboration is expected. The field component of this position requires a current US driver’s license.

To learn more or apply for this position, please send your CV, a cover letter summarizing your interest and qualifications, and contact information for three professional references to Dr. Leonelli at Please use the subject line, “Last name_Postdoc2023” in your email.

In the Leonelli lab, we believe that strength and insight come from our differences and we are strongly committed to embracing diversity and creating an inclusive work environment for all. Individuals traditionally minoritized in STEM (and people returning to work after prolonged absences, e.g. maternity/paternity leave) are encouraged to apply. Illinois is a world-leading center for photosynthesis research with multi-million-dollar investments in people and state-of-the-art facilities. Situated in an affordable college town, it is also a fabulous place to live, learn, and play.



Postdoctoral Position in High Throughput Phenotyping to Improve Crop Production

A postdoctoral research associate position is available within the Realizing Improved Photosynthetic Efficiency ( project at the University of Illinois.  We are seeking a candidate to conduct research on advancing development and application of high throughput phenotyping techniques to improve understanding of crop physiology-environmental interactions with the goal of breeding more productive and resilient crops.  The successful candidate will conduct research primarily at the RIPE Aerial Phenotyping Platform (, a 4-Ha cable-based outdoor phenotyping facility, but will also have opportunity to contribute to other ongoing research as part of the RIPE Project.  The candidate will work as a member of a productive and multidisciplinary team of scientists working to improve global food security.

Specific responsibilities of this position include advancing understanding of how high throughput phenotyping techniques can be developed and used to better understand key aspects of crop growth and physiology. Responsibilities include assisting with development and implementation of data analytic pipelines to process proximal and/or remote sensing data (hyper-/multi-spectral, LiDAR, and thermal); building statistical and/or machine learning based predictive models to quantify plants traits (e.g., photosynthetic traits, evapotranspiration, water use efficiency); integrating/fusing various sensor data for understanding crop yield performance; preparing peer-reviewed publications and project reports; and disseminating research at professional meetings. The selected candidate will be expected to work both independently on key aspects of these goals and as an integral part of a team to accomplish the research objectives.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in Remote Sensing/GIS, Agronomy, Plant Biology, Computer Sciences, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and/or a related discipline from an accredited institution. Strong background in statistics, quantitative skills, and proficiency in programming languages such as Python, R, and MATLAB would be preferred. The position also requires excellent verbal and written communication skills and a track record of peer-reviewed publications.

More information:  The length of this postdoctoral position is based on yearly renewable contracts with available funding for 3+ years. Applications will be reviewed starting September 7 and the search will remain open until filled.  Address requests for more information about the position or completed applications (cover letter and C.V.) to Carl Bernacchi at