Diverse pathogens/pests frequently move around through globalized crop production/distribution systems and the increasing movement of other goods. Besides direct crop loss and increased cost for plant care, diseases caused by novel pathogens often incur additional losses by requiring regulatory actions and disrupting commodity trade and markets. As “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” proactively enhancing diagnostics capability and our understanding of pathogen ecology/diversity can help minimize such losses by detecting and identifying newly introduced pathogens early.

The main goal of this long-term collaborative project between Penn State (Seogchan Kang) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA; Ekaterina Nikolaeva) is to enhance the state’s preparedness against diverse pathogens.The project aims to: a) evaluate the risk of Phytophthora to ornamental industries and forest ecosystems by characterizing the spatial and temporal diversity of Phytophthora in Pennsylvania and other states, b) characterize bacterial pathogens collected from tomato, potato, and pepper by PDA via sequencing to determine their diversity and variation, and c) help develop diagnostic tools based on nanomaterial-based chemical sensors.

Please submit a single pdf file consisting of a cover letter outlining relevant educational and research background and career goals, CV, and contact information for three referees through the online system. Please also email the same application file to Seogchan Kang at sxk55@psu.edu. Applicants are required to provide evidence that all requirements have been met for completion of the Ph.D. prior to the effective date of hire.

Excellent writing skills are required. Salarywill commensurate with experience. This is a fixed-term position funded for one year from date of hire with a high possibility of continuous funding. This position will be located at Penn State in University Park, and some travels to PDA in Harraburg are expected. To learn more and to apply, click here: https://psu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/PSU_Academic/job/Penn-State-University-Park/Postdoctoral-Associate_REQ_0000038160-1.

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