Job Summary: Indiana has a diverse vegetable industry, is 2nd in the US for processing tomato production, and 5th to 6th in cantaloupe and watermelon production in most years. Most of this production occurs close to Vincennes, IN.  Diversified vegetable production has increased greatly over the past several years and has expanded into new crops. There is increasing interest to manage disease problems while improving productivity and sustainability for growers.  

The incumbent is responsible for vegetable pathology Extension and applied research across Indiana. Extension programming includes direct interaction with growers through farm visits, walk-ins at the research station, answering phone calls/emails and presentations to grower groups, including contributions to the Indiana Horticulture Conference and Expo and the Indiana Small Farm Conference. 

 Diagnostic activities conducted at the laboratory at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center are coordinated with the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab located on the Purdue main campus in West Lafayette.  Publications include Purdue Extension bulletins and contributing to regional publications such as the annual Midwest Vegetable Production Guide. Applied research to inform the candidate’s Extension work includes field and greenhouse trials for cultivar evaluation, fungicide efficacy, basic etiology of pathogens and their epidemiology.

This position is located at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center located just north of Vincennes, IN. Facilities include 220 acres of land (including organic certified), several warm season greenhouses, 3 high tunnels, a research greenhouse with heat and evaporative cooling, and laboratory facilities (e.g., growth chamber, microscopy, autoclaves, etc.).

The Department:

The Department of Botany and Plant Pathology has a diverse and creative faculty that conducts research in weed science, plant pathology, and plant biology. The department is part of a dynamic research community of scientists in the College of Agriculture and across the university, including SWPAC. The department is primarily located in Lilly Hall on the Purdue main campus in West Lafayette, with research labs, instructional spaces and teaching labs, greenhouse complex, and plant growth facilities.

The College:

The Department is an integral part of the College of Agriculture, one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences and ranked fifth in the world in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.

The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension), to international activities and perspectives that span all missions, and to excellence in all we do. The College has 11 academic departments and includes 302 faculty, 2823 undergraduate students, and 689 graduate students.


Qualified candidates must have a Ph.D. in plant pathology or a closely related field, a record of scholarly publications, and strong communication skills. Preference will be given to candidates who have either significant training or experience in the different aspects of plant pathology and interactions with growers, and demonstrated collaborations across academic disciplines and with industry.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants must submit an application packet that include separate statements on research interests, Extension philosophy, and diversity/inclusion, as well as a complete curriculum vitae that includes a summary of academic and other professional experiences, and the names and contact information for four references.

Purdue University, the College of Agriculture, and the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology are committed to free and open inquiry in all matters. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to address in their cover letter how they are prepared to contribute to a climate that values free inquiry and academic freedom.

All materials must be combined into one pdf and submitted electronically. Review of applications will begin on October 16, 2023, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Address questions to the chair of the search committee, Dr. Janna Beckerman ( A background check will be required for employment in this position.

Commitment to Diversity:

Purdue University’s Department of Botany and Plant Pathology is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement (OR in their cover letter), indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion. 

EOE/AA: Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.


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