The Mason Lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is currently seeking a postdoctoral scholar to assist with a research project funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research exploring the evolution, genetic architecture, and ecological and agricultural consequences of inducible chemical defenses and broader plant secondary metabolism in cultivated and wild sunflowers (Helianthus). This work seeks to identify endogenous chemical defense systems in sunflowers to provide quantitative resistance for the sustainable control of pests and pathogens.
The postdoctoral scholar will work closely with faculty with expertise in:
(1) Plant ecophysiology and secondary metabolism,
(2) Insect and microbial plant-biotic interactions,
(3) Genome-wide association mapping,
(4) Phylogenetic comparative methods and multivariate statistics.
The primary duties will involve organizing empirical data collection, conducting data analysis, and leading research dissemination. The selected candidate will organize greenhouse and laboratory experiments, conduct plant tissue analytical chemistry analysis via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, perform analysis of genomic datasets including genome-wide association mapping, and prepare manuscripts for publication. The initial duration of this postdoctoral position will be one year, extendable up to 32 months (2.66 years) with satisfactory performance toward project objectives. In addition to salary and benefits, the UCF preeminent postdoctoral program provides an additional $5,000 travel/research allowance to the postdoctoral scholar outside of the scope of project funding.
This postdoctoral scholar position is especially targeted at researchers interested in aggressively pursuing a faculty position. The PI is dedicated to working with the postdoctoral scholar in establishing themselves as an independent researcher. This includes writing grant proposals as a co-PI and leading a small research team. The Mason Lab engages a large number of undergraduates in plant science, and the incumbent will have the opportunity to advise a broad range of undergraduate projects as well as work closely with Ph.D. students. In addition, the selected candidate will be expected to contribute to an inclusive lab culture, and will be encouraged to participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in support of UCF’s mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.