USFS Fellowship on Characterization of Environmental Factors and Needle Microbial Communities Associated with Southern Pine Species: Colorado

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Fort Collins, COLORADO
Deadline: 15 Mar 2023

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Last Date to Apply
*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis. ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service (USFS), Southern Research Station located in Fort Collins, Colorado. At the heart of the U.S. Forest Service's mission is their purpose. Everything they do is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because their stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives the agency’s mission and motivates their work across the agency. It’s been there from the agency’s very beginning, and it still drives them. To advance the mission and serve their purpose, the U.S. Forest Service balances the short and long-term needs of people and nature by: working in collaboration with communities and our partners; providing access to resources and experiences that promote economic, ecological, and social vitality; connecting people to the land and one another; and delivering world-class science, technology and land management. Research Project: The project will focus on characterizing factors that are associated with high severity levels of brown spot needle blight, caused by the pathogen Lecanosticta acicola in several southern pine species. This project will integrate field-based measurements, including site factors, tree health, weather parameters with molecular approaches that allow for detection of the pathogens as well characterize the microbial communities associated with various site factors and tree health. APPOINTMENT ACITIVITES: The participant is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at USDA-USFS Southern Research Station stationed at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The assigned research area will focus on characterizing site and environmental factors, and needle microbial communities, (bacteria and fungi) that are associated with healthy and brown spot infected southern pine species. This research is part of a larger team investigating increasing severity and mortality of loblolly pine from brown spot needle blight. Evaluations will include collecting needle samples from various locations in the southeast, conducting site surveys, and performing molecular biology techniques, including RNA and DNA extractions, microbial sequencing, and associated analyses. Learning Objectives: As a result of this training the participant will improve their skills in microbial communities (microbiome) sample preparation and analysis, and scientific writing. Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity are Rabiu Olatinwo ( and Jane Stewart ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: April 17, 2023. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR). ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g., Plant Pathology, Microbiology, Forest Pathology, Genetics), or be currently pursuing the degree with completion before February 28, 2023. Preferred Skills: - Experience with molecular biology techniques, population genomics, and metagenomics - Experience with microscopy and microbial biology techniques - Experience with greenhouse experiments and fungal inoculations - Experience in collecting field samples and integrating environmental and site factors, with genetic data - Ability to work in field conditions
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