Postdoctoral Scholar in Biological Soilborne Disease Management

University of California, Santa Cruz
August 30, 2024
Offerd Salary:$64,480 - $66,868
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Biological Soilborne Disease Management

Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The posted UCSC salary scales set the minimum pay based on the individual's Experience Level , which is determined by the number of months of postdoctoral service at any institution. See the salary scale titled, Postdoctoral Scholar- Employee /Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow / Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid Direct -Fiscal Year. A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,480 - $66,868.

Percent time: Full-time (100%)

Anticipated start: As soon as possible after initial review of the applications. Ph.D. must be in hand at time of the initial appointment.

Position duration: Maximum Duration of Service in a Postdoctoral Title : Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are full-time and the initial appointment is for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of reappointment. The total duration of an individual's postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at any institution.

Application Window

Open date: September 1, 2023

Next review date: Monday, Oct 2, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, Aug 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Environmental Studies invites applicants for a postdoctoral scholar position to conduct applied research and extension under the mentorship of Dr. Joji Muramoto at the UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, CA. This postdoctoral scholar position will assist with a new project to examine the efficacy of anaerobic soil disinfestation in controlling root knot nematodes in carrots in California.

Root-Knot Nematodes, A Primary Pest of California Carrots Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) can cause substantial damage and are of major concern in California carrots. Their parasitic activity can damage the growing root tip and result in a forked, distorted, or stunted taproot. In addition to the reduced marketability, deformed roots tend to pick up excess soil, increasing the tare transported to the shed. Removal of excess soil increases cost. Furthermore, root knot nematodes may cause stand and yield reduction.

Examining Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation for Controlling Root Knot Nematodes Due to environmental and human health concerns, the regulation of fumigants in California is becoming increasingly stringent and non-fumigant alternatives are desperately needed for many fruit and vegetable growers. California is also the number one state in the US in gross sales of organic produce. However, effective soil-borne disease and pest management practices for berries and vegetables including carrots are yet limited. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is a biological alternative to chemical fumigation developed in the Netherlands and Japan independently. It has been demonstrated to be effective in controlling a range of soil-borne pathogens in berries and tree nuts in California. In Florida, besides soil-borne pathogens in strawberries, vegetables and cut flowers, ASD was also effective in controlling RKNs in tomatoes. However, the efficacy of ASD for RKNs in carrots has not been examined in California.

This new project, funded by USDA-ARS, aims to develop and implement non- fumigant approaches for management of nematodes and other pathogens in California carrot production. Collaborative research studies consisting of replicated field trials and grower demonstration plots will be established in Central to Southern California to determine the impacts of organic amendment- based treatments, such as ASD and mustard seed meal for control of RKNs. Data on treatment establishment characteristics, soil quality parameters of site locations, and levels of redox potential and crop marketability and nutrition will be assessed.

Roles and Responsibilities The purpose of this postdoctoral scholar position is to help carry out laboratory and field experiments associated with this effort to develop and implement non-fumigant approaches for management of RKNs and other pathogens in California carrot production. Potential research includes development of effective and economically feasible RKN control methods for organic carrot growers, development of the environmental thresholds to control RKNs using ASD, and selection of appropriate organic amendments for ASD. In addition to this work directly focused on the efficacy of ASD on RKN control, broader efforts are also being carried out to better understand the efficacy of ASD on other soil-borne pathogens.

The selected candidate will primarily help design, implement and analyze a series of laboratory and field experiments, as well as support on-going outreach and extension efforts to communicate all findings to the California carrot industry and to the scientific community at the regional, national and international level. The position will require the incumbent demonstrate a capacity to work independently and lead the development and publication of research results.

Applicants with any of the following qualifications are strongly encouraged to apply: Experience working on biological soilborne disease management in vegetables or fruits and their crop production systems; soil biome analysis using molecular approaches; prior coursework on agronomic details of crop production systems or interest in organic and/or regenerative agriculture; interest in Cooperative extension; and/or a demonstrated interest and publication record in agroecology, soil science, plant pathology, soil biology, or nematology.

Location and Affiliation While the postdoctoral scholar will be a member of Dr. Joji Muramoto's laboratory, they will be expected to work collaboratively with all project principal investigators, which include Drs. Antoon Ploeg (UC Riverside, nematology), Ole Becker (UC Riverside, nematology), Erin Rosskopf (USDA- ARS, plant pathology, FL), and Jason Hong (USDA-ARS, plant pathology, FL). Dr. Muramoto's lab is based at the Department of Environmental Studies in Santa Cruz, CA. The field trials will be established in experimental fields in UCANR South Coast Research and Extension Center and other locations in Central to Southern California.

The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position.

Environmental Studies Department : https: //


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in biology or other natural science field that is relevant to the advertised position. Ph.D. must be in hand at the time of appointment (rather than at the time of application).

Application Requirements

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., which must include three professional references along with their contact information. The search committee will conduct reference checks for the applicants who are under serious consideration.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements before preparing their application.

  • Sample Publication - Include one sample publication you are most proud of in PDF format.

  • Apply link: https: //

    Help contact: [email protected]

    Campus Information

    The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University's equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

    Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see https: // www. The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see https: //

    UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

    If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at [email protected] (831) 459-4602.

    UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at https: // www. to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

    The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit https: //

    As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

    VISIT UC Santa Cruz: https: // www.

    Job location

    Santa Cruz, California

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