Join us!

I’ve building our lab group at Penn State (see People). The final piece of the puzzle is to hire a postdoc join the group. Due to COVID-19 disruption, the ideal start date for this position is now fall/winter 2020.

Postdoc: Link to official AD and to apply!

The postdoc position is funded by a collaborative NSF PGRP grant “Genomics of strain- and host-specific performance in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis” (co-PI’s P. Tiffin, L. Burghardt, K. Heath, N. Young, and M. Sadowsky). In addition to working towards the general aims of this project, the postdoc will use a Select & Resequence methodology to screen a panel for legume host mutants for rhizobial candidate genes underlying host-strain specificity (as in our recent Plant Physiology paper). The postdoc will have the opportunity to conduct follow-up studies on the functional genetics of symbiosis and provided the freedom to develop and pursue their research directions (e.g., root architecture, leguminous cover crops, and plant-microbe responses to abiotic stressors). The successful candidate will have completed a Ph.D. in Biology, Ecology/Evolution, Plant Sciences, Microbiology, or related field at the time of assuming the position. Desirable skills include the ability to conduct manipulative experiments with plants and/or microbes, experience using bioinformatic pipelines to analyze whole-genome sequence data and perform statistical analysis with R, and a demonstrated publication record. Initially, this position will be for a one-year appointment, but there is an excellent probability of renewal for additional years provided satisfactory progress.

I am also happy to work with postdocs interested in securing their own funding (e.g., NSF postdoc, NIFA postdoc, or Fulbright Fellowship).

Graduate students:

I am always interested in speaking with curious, creative, dedicated, and interesting potential students. Students in my group can enter through several programs, including Plant Sciences, and the inter-college graduate programs in Ecology, Plant Biology, and Bioinformatics & Genomics. If you are not sure which one is right for you (and it can be very confusing), we can discuss what might be the best option for you.

Students are funded through a combination of TA- and RA-ships via a combination of PSU fellowships, my grant funds, and program/department support. There are also various ways to secure your own funding (e.g., NSF GRFP) that provide additional independence. If you intend to apply to the lab, I am happy to work with you on putting together those applications.

To start a conversation about grad school, please send me a ‘pre-application’ in the late summer/early fall of the year you plan to apply to Penn State. In the email, please explain your educational background, interest in the lab, and goals for graduate school. Please also attach your CV (info on putting together a CV).