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

Undergraduate Researchers for iGEM Team (Illinois)

The International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is an annual international competition in which teams of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students around the world utilize tools from synthetic biology to create innovative solutions to real world problems.

Members of the 2021 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign iGEM team will work collaboratively on a research project of their own design to present in October 2021.

Team members will be expected to actively participate during spring and fall semesters and conduct research full-time during the summer. Participants will be supported by a summer stipend.

For more information on the previous iGEM competitions, check out the 2020 U of I iGEM team’s work on its wiki page (https://2020.igem.org/Team:UIUC_Illinois), browse the 2020 iGEM competition results (https://2020.igem.org/Main_Page#results), and explore other team wiki pages (https://igem.org/Team_Wikis?year=2020).

To apply, please complete the online application: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/abfae0467c054c6ea349b41457985226

QUALIFICATIONS

Education

  • Required: Current undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduating after December, 2021

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Required: Interest in collaborative research
  • Required: Part-time availability for spring and fall semesters in 2021. Full-time availability to conduct research during summer 2021.
  • Preferred: Coursework in synthetic biology, computational biology, microbiology, engineering, computer science, or biochemistry
  • Preferred: Research or laboratory experience a plus
  • Preferred: Skills related to synthetic biology, microbiology, biochemistry, laboratory research, teamwork, programming, website design

MORE DETAILS

Salary: Stipend will be provided to cover summer research

Dates of note:

  • Some planning meetings and training during Spring 2020 Semester
  • Full time (40 hr/week) work during summer. Some evening and weekend work may be required depending on nature of project.
  • Project wrap-up during early Fall 2021 semester; participation in iGEM Giant Jamboree required.

Application Deadline: March 14, 2021

Contact: Anna Fedders (afedder2@illinois.edu) with questions.

Ecosystem Research Specialist (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 Ecosystem Research Specialist will work with CABBI researchers to maximize value of data collected by CABBI researchers by accelerating data compilation and sharing, developing shared data standards across research groups, and serving as a link between empiricists and modelers.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Ecosystem Research Specialist will be …

  • Working with Sustainability Theme members to identify data needed by the modeling teams and to retrieve, quality check, and share data from the Ecosystem Measurements and Marginal Lands team as well as the Feedstock Production Theme and legacy Energy Biosciences Institute projects
  • Working with Sustainability Theme members and counterparts at other Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers to compile protocols for data collection, processing, and archival and to facilitate development of community standards for the protocols
  • Attending Sustainability Theme and team meetings as well as Feedstocks Theme meetings to identify opportunities for data integration and follow up on meeting action items as appropriate
  • Providing support for specific projects within the Sustainability Theme as related to data sharing, such as development of an RShiny app to allow non-modelers to conduct model runs in DayCent and AgroIBIS for sensitivity analysis and hypothesis generation
  • Co-supervising hourly employee who works on data compilation under primary supervision of the CABBI Data Manager
  • Contributing to manuscript preparation

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Education: Required  — B.S. in biology, ecology, environmental sciences or other related disciplines Preferred — M.S. degree biology, ecology, environmental sciences or other related disciplines
  • Experience: Required — Research experience in ecosystem science or related field, experience running ecosystem-scale models Preferred — Experience using rShiny
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Background in ecosystem science, ecology, biology, environmental science, biogeochemistry or related field. Ability to work independently but also as part of a team. Well developed active listening and written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency with computers, especially Excel MSOffice. Ability to maintain written records. Willingness to learn. Proactive in problem solving; self-sufficient. Preferred — Knowledge of computer programming languages including R, familiarity with ecosystem-scale models, experience collecting ecosystem-level empirical data
  • Environmental Demands: Work will mostly be performed in a normal office setting. Some travel to and from meetings may be required

SALARY: Commensurate with experience and qualifications

APPOINTMENT STATUS: Full-time academic professional, grant-supported appointment renewable annually pending continued funding and satisfactory progress within the position. Qualified individuals will be eligible to receive vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement through the State Universities Retirement System ;and group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

START DATE: As soon as possible after the close date

TO APPLY: Applications must be received by March 1, 2021. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through https://jobs.illinois.edu by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of which details qualifications noted above, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. For further information, please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources, elhanson@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.

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