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Postdoctoral Position in High Throughput Phenotyping to Improve Crop Production

A postdoctoral research associate position is available within the Realizing Improved Photosynthetic Efficiency (https://ripe.illinois.edu/) 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U89zXRslzI4), 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 bernacch@illinois.edu.


Illinois Summer Fellows

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Summer Fellows (ISF) program brings first and second-year students studying biological sciences at the University of Oxford to the University of Illinois to contribute to plant science research throughout the summer months, generally from the beginning of July through the third week of September. Fellows work alongside a postdoctoral researcher mentor to support larger research projects, like RIPE, that are working toward increasing food and bioenergy production. 

2022 ISF Program COVID-19 Updates

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has commenced and welcomes optimism for what our future holds. However, we must continue to be as diligent as ever in adhering to safety precautions. 

With this said, we are sad to announce that the ISF program for 2022 is canceled. We will not be accepting any ISF applications for this year, however, we look forward to when it is safer for everyone to meet together again. We hope that we can resume our program in 2023. More information for the 2023 ISF program is to come. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding as we work through this next phase of the pandemic. 


If you are interested in joining a specific lab on the project, we encourage you to reach out to the lab's principal investigator directly to inquire about future openings. If you need help identifying a lab that aligns with your skills and interests, please contact us.