Postdoctoral Research Fellow (A) – Plants for Space

The University of Adelaide
July 16, 2024
Offerd Salary:$75,888 to $106,040
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed-term position
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Level A ($75,888 to $106,040) per annum plus an employer contribution of up to 17% superannuation applies.

Fixed-term position available for 24 months.

Join the Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora (LEAF) team, who are developing a fully contained growth capsule to be deployed by Artemis III NASA astronauts on the moon, in a project aligned with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space ( P4S).

The purpose of this position is to conduct fundamental research into plant biology as a member of A/Prof. Jenny Mortimer's lab and of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space (P4S). The successful candidate will be part of the Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora (LEAF) team, who are developing a fully contained growth capsule to be deployed by Artemis III NASA astronauts on the moon. Inside the capsule Arabidopsis thaliana , Brassica rapa and Wolffia australiana will be grown and monitored for approximately 5 days, then samples returned to Earth for analysis. These samples will be analysed using primarily transcriptomic and biochemical methods, to understand the effects on plants of low gravity, the closed environment, and high radiation exposure.

The tasks of the Postdoctoral Researcher will include method development for sample fixation/preservation, analyses of plant cell wall material recovered from limited samples, and exploration of vegetative growth and seed dormancy. It would suit someone with enthusiasm for method development and refinement. The postdoc will also co-supervise PhD students and Honours students.

Outputs will include methods for successfully growing, fixing and analysing plant material for cell wall composition, establishment of a ground analogue system, and contributions to ensure a successful and collaborative multi- national team.

This exciting role will contribute to ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space's goal to re-imagine plant design and bio-resource production to support long-term habitation in Space and solve sustainability challenges on Earth.

To be successful you will need:

  • A completed or nearly completed PhD in Plant Sciences, Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Synthetic Biology, Plant Biochemistry or related subject.
  • Demonstrated skills in plant molecular biology, synthetic biology and bioinformatics.
  • Demonstrated understanding of plant cell wall biology.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, with an ability to communicate scientific ideas to an expert audience.
  • A strong work ethic, and the ability to work well independently, and as a member of a broader team, including with industrial partners.
  • Ability to travel overseas, and to attend meetings out of hours since the majority of the partners are in the USA (Colorado, Florida)
  • Commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Desirable characteristics:

  • Understanding of bioinformatics.
  • Interest in flowering and seed dormancy
  • Enjoy an outstanding career environment

    The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space is a >$90 million initiative led by the University of Adelaide with more than 35 partners across Australia and around the world. P4S aims to create on-demand, zero-waste, high efficiency plants and plant products to address grand challenges in sustainability for Space and on Earth. The multi-disciplinary team in plant, food, and sensory science; process and systems engineering; law and policy; and psychology will deliver transformative solution for Space habitation – and create enhanced plant-derived food and bioresources to capitalise upon emergent and rapidly expanding domestic and global markets. Anticipated outcomes include industry uptake of innovative plant forms, foods, technologies, and commodities; and an ambitious education and international co-ordination agenda to position Australia as a global leader in plant-based research supporting Space habitation. Find out more at www.

    The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you vast scope and opportunity for a long, fulfilling career.

    It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our work's cutting-edge nature - not just in your own area, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

    Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity consistent with our Staff Values and Behaviour Framework and our Values of integrity, respect, collegiality, excellence and discovery. We firmly believe that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills, knowledge and capability of all our staff.

    We embrace flexibility as a key principle to allow our people to manage the changing demands of work, personal and family life. Flexible working arrangements are on offer for all roles at the University.

    In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

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    Your faculty's broader role

    The Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology is a multidisciplinary hub of cutting-edge teaching and research. Many of its academic staff are world leaders in their fields and graduates are highly regarded by employers. The Faculty actively partners with innovative industries to solve problems of global significance.

    As a member of Australia's G08, the University of Adelaide is recognised as one of the nation's most respected research-intensive universities, challenging and inspiring graduates to make a real difference. The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) holds an outstanding reputation for teaching, research, and quality graduates. Comprised of eight schools, 21 centres and five institutes, the Faculty of SET is responsible for teaching over 8,500 students across our three campuses, North Terrace, Waite and Roseworthy, and has an annual budget of $300 million. The faculty is a significant contributor to the University's research reputation, earning annual research revenue above $120 million. Many of our research areas have achieved a world-class research rating of 5 in the 2018 ERA rankings. The faculty is responsible for teaching and research across wide range of disciplines including Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Architecture, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Agriculture, Food and Wine and Animal and Veterinary Science. The Faculty of SET is an innovative and agile working environment that champions excellence, diversity and inclusion in our teaching, research, and global engagement leadership.

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    If you have the talent, we'll give you the opportunity. Together, let's make history.

    Click on the ‘Apply Now' button to be taken through to the online application form. Please ensure you submit a cover letter, resume, and upload a document that includes your responses to all of the selection criteria for the position as contained in the position description or selection criteria document.

    Applications close 11:55pm (South Australia time), Tuesday, 16 July, 2024.

    For further information

    For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

    Associate Professor Jenny Mortimer E: [email protected]

    The University reserves the right to close this advertisement before the closing date if a suitable candidate is identified.

    The University of Adelaide is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. Female applicants, people with a disability and/or and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who meet the requirements of this position are strongly encouraged to apply. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application.

    Download the Position Description Apply now

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