Jobs — Employment Opportunities at CABBI

From postdoctoral and graduate student researchers, to lab technicians, to other support staff, the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation is looking for motivated team players.

Check out this page frequently for the latest position openings! Queries about job openings may be sent to CABBI Program Manager Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu.

Current Openings

Economic Modeling Postdoc (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY:

We seek a highly motivated, dedicated postdoctoral research associate to conduct innovative economic modeling research with the economics group led by CABBI Sustainability Theme Leader Madhu Khanna at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The focus of this position is on conducting problem-oriented and policy-relevant research developing computational and econometric models to understand the economic and behavioral incentives for technology adoption and its environmental implications for land use change, water quality and carbon emissions, with application to bioenergy.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in agricultural economics, environmental and resource economics, energy economics, operations research or related field and an outstanding ability to perform quantitative modeling and analysis. Experience in computational methods linking economic models with biophysical and hydrological models, econometric methods, dynamic optimization, survey design, excellent communication skills and an interest in working with interdisciplinary researchers on topics related to bioenergy economics will be among the selection criteria.

MORE DETAILS:

Funding is available to start immediately for appointment on an annual basis with the potential for renewal based on satisfactory performance and continued funding. The position is available immediately and will be open until it is filled. The start date is negotiable.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an equal opportunity employer and offers highly competitive salary and excellent health care benefits. Applicants who meet all the criteria should send the following materials in a single pdf file by email to Anna Fedders at afedder2@illinois.edu with postdoc application in the Subject line: (1) curriculum vita, (2) a letter describing research interests and experience, (3) a recent research paper and (4) names and contact information for three references. Inquiries about the position should be sent to Madhu Khanna at khanna1@illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

Molecular Physiology of Stomata, Photosynthesis, and WUE Postdocs (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY:

The Leakey group at the University of Illinois (http://lab.igb.illinois.edu/leakey/) seeks creative and energetic applicants for two postdoctoral associate positions studying stomata, photosynthesis and water use efficiency in the model C4 species of sugarcane and setaria. The positions will be involved in long-term collaborative projects funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, which involve multidisciplinary teams of physiologists, geneticists, computer scientists and molecular biologists. Our goals are to understand the genetic and physiological controls of photosynthetic water use efficiency through a combination of molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, and physiology. The projects will benefit substantially from significant advances in high-throughput phenotyping and germplasm development made by our team and collaborators in recent years, as well as a new large-scale field facility for imposing drought treatments. The positions will offer excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary training and a creative work environment at the Institute for Genomic Biology, which houses the CABBI and Gates Foundation-funded RIPE project  (http://ripe.illinois.edu/) laboratories.

Position requirements:

Candidates should have a strong background in molecular genetics or physiology, preferably with a focus on stomata or photosynthesis. The successful applicant will be expected to actively engage with a collaborative team using synthetic biology, gene editing and enhanced efficiency transformation strategies to improve the water use efficiency of C4 crops.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an equal opportunity employer and offers highly competitive salary and excellent health care benefits. Questions about these positions or applications including a letter of application, CV and the names of three referees can be addressed by email to Melinda Laborg (laborg@uiuc.edu).

Position is immediately available, but the start date is flexible. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

Sorghum Genetics and Genomics Postdoc (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty and alumni. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community. The U of I ranks top worldwide in environmental science, computer science, and agricultural science.

The Studer lab (https://cropsciences.illinois.edu/people/profile/astuder) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is recruiting a qualified Postdoctoral Researcher through the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) to work on research projects within the Feedstock Production Theme of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation. The postdoctoral position is full-time, 1-year duration, with possibility of annual extension, contingent upon performance and funding.

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY: A postdoctoral scientist with a strong background in genetics and genomics is sought to join a dynamic team of researchers. The successful candidate will collaborate with a vibrant research team working on altering carbon partitioning in sorghum for enhanced biofuel production. The successful candidate will lead efforts in developing and evaluating novel germplasm created through traditional breeding, transgenic, and genome editing approaches. The candidates will work closely with faculty, postdoctoral researchers, students, and technicians that are focusing on how sorghum can be optimized to increase productivity and sustainability in a Midwest agricultural system. As part of a large multi-institutional project, the successful candidate will be exposed to an interdisciplinary and highly collaborative work environment. The scientific goals of this position are to determine genetic mechanisms, and interacting environmental factors, controlling source-sink dynamics that lead to tissue-specific carbon accumulation.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful postdoctoral candidate will have a Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Genetics, Plant Breeding, or a related field. Experience in techniques including field evaluation trials, high-throughput sequencing data analysis, and basic molecular biology are preferred, as is a proven publication record. Candidates should have great oral and written communication skills. Candidates must be willing and able to participate in field research activities including assisting with setup and maintenance of field sites for breeding nurseries and phenotypic evaluation. Candidates will be considered if graduation with a Ph.D. is expected by the targeted starting date. Proficiency in spoken/written English is mandatory. The appointment is renewed annually, contingent upon the performance. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience in relevant research.

START DATE: June 1-Aug. 31, 2021; as soon as possible preferred

TO APPLY: To ensure full consideration, qualified candidates must send a cover letter, CV, and contact information of three references via email to ponte1@illinois.edu. All requested information must be submitted to the above email in order for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Qualified applicants will be immediately reviewed upon receiving the application while the search may continue until the position is filled. Questions related to the positions should be addressed to astuder@illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

Postdoc (Iowa State): Ecosystem Measurements and Modeling

Do you love being outside and also love coding? Iowa State University’s Biomass Crop Production and Physiology team (@ISUBiomass) is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate with experience in plant or environmental science, computer modeling, and project management to join our CABBI team. Our focus is on measuring and modeling ecosystem services provided by advanced energy crops and the position will be co-supervised by faculty members Emily Heaton and Andy VanLoocke.

The successful candidate will work with our team of academic and commercial partners to measure key attributes of commercial Miscanthus × giganteus fields then incorporate that information into the agroecosystem model AgroIBIS, elucidating not only ecosystem services that can be expected from M. × giganteus but also hypotheses to test for deeper mechanistic understanding of ecosystem function.

Demonstrated programming capacity is essential, as is comfort with working outdoors in field settings. Knowledge of plant and environmental science is preferred. The successful candidate will measure plant, soil, water, and atmospheric attributes throughout the year at both experimental CABBI research sites and commercial fields operated by industry partner AGgrowTech.  This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and contact information of three references to the heaton@iastate.edu and andyvanl@iastate.edu.

Iowa State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Salary will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position (see more by searching Google scholar for Emily Heaton and Andy VanLoocke): 

 

Modeling the Productivity of Biomass Sorghum in the Rain-Fed United States

J Bendorf, A VanLoocke, E Heaton

AGU Fall Meeting 2019

Multi-year and Multi-site Establishment of the Perennial Biomass Crop Miscanthus × giganteus Using a Staggered Start Design to Elucidate N Response

M Tejera, N Boersma, A Vanloocke, S Archontoulis, P Dixon, F Miguez, …

BioEnergy Research 12 (3), 471-483

Economic and water quality impacts of bioenergy crop expansion

A VanLoocke, EA Heaton, M Khanna, KM Ferin, S Acquah

2019 ESA Annual Meeting (August 11–16)

Perennial Vs. Annual Crops: Does Miscanthus Ã— Giganteus Always Improve Soil Health and Water Quality Compared to Zea Mays?.

JE Studt, MD McDaniel, EA Heaton

SSSA International Soils Meeting

Utilizing a cropping system model framework for subfield cost-benefit analysis of variable seeding and nitrogen application rates

G McNunn, A VanLoocke, EA Heaton, M Licht, S Archontoulis

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3, 108

Targeted subfield switchgrass integration could improve the farm economy, water quality, and bioenergy feedstock production

E Brandes, GS McNunn, LA Schulte, DJ Muth, A VanLoocke, EA Heaton

GCB Bioenergy 10 (3), 199-212

Postdoc (Florida): Plant Genome Editing and Metabolic Engineering

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with experience in plant genetic engineering, molecular biology and project management to join our team. The research program focuses on designing feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts using the CABBI “plants as factories” concept.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop multiplex genome editing strategies and transgenic approaches for metabolic engineering, and characterize genetically modified events under controlled environment and field conditions similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Extensive background in molecular genetics is essential, including analysis of RNAseq data, design and construction of complex vectors, plant tissue culture, biolistic gene transfer, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. Knowledge in plant metabolism, physiology and genomic regulation is desirable. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Salary will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

  • Parajuli, S., Kannan, B., Karan, R., Liu, H., Garcia-Ruiz, E., Kumar, D., Singh, V., Zhao, H., Long, S.P., Shanklin, J., Altpeter, F. March 21, 2020. “Towards Oilcane: Engineering Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol into Sugarcane Stems.” GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12684. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12684
  • Kannan, B., Jung, J.H., Moxley, G. W., Lee, S.M. Altpeter, F. 2017. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of more than 100 COMT copies/alleles in highly polyploid sugarcane improves saccharification efficiency without compromising biomass yield. Plant Biotechn. J. (in press). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full
  • Altpeter F. et al. 2016. Advancing Crop Transformation in the Era of Genome Editing. Plant Cell. 28: 1510‐1520. http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2016/06/22/tpc.16.00196.full.pdf+html
  • Jung, J. H. and F. Altpeter. 2016. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of the caffeic acid O‐methyltransferase in highly polyploid sugarcane improves cell wall composition for production of bioethanol. Plant. Mol. Biol. 92: 131‐142. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903
  • Zale, J., J.H. Jung, J.Y. Kim, B, B. Patha, R. Karan, H. Liu, X. Chen, H. Wu, J. Candreva, Z. Zhai, J. Shanklin, F. Altpeter. 2016. Metabolic engineering of sugarcane to accumulate energy‐dense triacylglycerols in vegetative biomass. Plant Biotech. J. 14: 661‐669. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf
Ph.D. Student (Florida): Plant Genome Editing

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student with experience in plant tissue culture and genetic engineering and molecular biology to join our team. The research program focuses on genome editing and metabolic engineering of sugarcane to improve crop performance and quality.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop genome editing strategies that do not leave a transgenic footprint in vegetatively propagated sugarcane, and characterize genetically modified events similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Hands-on experience with plant tissue culture and genetic transformation is essential. The ideal candidate will also be experience with vector construction, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

Please email your resume, cover letter, GRE scores, GPA, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Stipend will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

  • Parajuli, S., Kannan, B., Karan, R., Liu, H., Garcia-Ruiz, E., Kumar, D., Singh, V., Zhao, H., Long, S.P., Shanklin, J., Altpeter, F. March 21, 2020. “Towards Oilcane: Engineering Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol into Sugarcane Stems.” GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12684. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12684
  • Kannan, B., Jung, J.H., Moxley, G. W., Lee, S.‐M. Altpeter, F. 2017. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of more than 100 COMT copies/alleles in highly polyploid sugarcane improves saccharification efficiency without compromising biomass yield. Plant Biotechn. J. (in press). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full
  • Altpeter F. et al. 2016. Advancing Crop Transformation in the Era of Genome Editing. Plant Cell. 28: 1510‐1520. http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2016/06/22/tpc.16.00196.full.pdf+html
  • Jung, J. H. and F. Altpeter. 2016. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of the caffeic acid O‐methyltransferase in highly polyploid sugarcane improves cell wall composition for production of bioethanol. Plant. Mol. Biol. 92: 131‐142. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903
  • Zale, J., J.H. Jung, J.Y. Kim, B, B. Patha, R. Karan, H. Liu, X. Chen, H. Wu, J. Candreva, Z. Zhai, J. Shanklin, F. Altpeter. 2016. Metabolic engineering of sugarcane to accumulate energy‐dense triacylglycerols in vegetative biomass. Plant Biotech. J. 14: 661‐669. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf