Postdoctoral Researcher in Crop Modelling

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
27 Mar 2018
End of advertisement period
24 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), steward of agriculture for the nation, has long been concerned about the impacts of environmental variability and weather extremes. Changes in the environmental and weather patterns can lead to unprecedented changes in the Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface, raising the concern of direct and indirect effects to crops, ecosystems and humans.

The UV-B Monitoring and Research Program (UVMRP) is guided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) mission to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges and vision to catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges. Specifically, the UVMRP addresses NIFA’s Strategic Plan goal to advance the development and delivery of science for agricultural, forest, and range systems adapted to climate variability and to mitigate climate impacts.

The UVMRP fulfills these mandates by establishing three program areas:

  • Monitor and examine UV-B radiation (with an emphasis on UV) at the Earth’s surface
  • Study the interaction among UV-B radiation, agriculture crops/production, forest, ecosystem, and climate
  • Develop an Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System

Position Summary

The post-doctoral research fellow will focus on the development, validation, and application of an advanced dynamic large-scale ecological modeling system using theoretical concepts and techniques from numerical modeling. This will involve incorporating solar UV radiation as a new abiotic stress factor into an ecological model. The calibrated UV version of the ecological model will be coupled with a regional climate model or climate observations to evaluate the effects of ambient and projected solar UV radiation as well as other stress factors on ecosystems at regional scales (such as the Western U.S.). The research will help to develop management strategies that can enhance crop growth in regional scales under different climate environments. This position is part of an ongoing project to develop an integrated modeling framework that couples state-of-the-art climate, hydrology, agriculture, and economic models. This position will conduct research and publish scientific findings in refereed journals, and present them at scientific conferences on ecology-modeling and impact assessment.

Required Job Qualifications

Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology, agronomy sciences, or mathematics/statistics, and a strong background in numerical modeling.

Preferred Job Qualifications

Demonstrated experience and skills with programming languages such as C/C++, FORTRAN, Matlab, Python, and/or PERL for numerical computation.
Analytical skills in model testing/data-assimilation/validation with biogeochemical models like DayCent, GOSSYM, DSSAT, Pnet.
Knowledge of plant physiology such as production, nutrient cycling, decomposition and other related processes and their sensitivity to environmental and climatic variability.

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility

Design and conduct collaborative research that investigates different crop/ecological models as to growth patterns under complex climate conditions and within various ecoregions.

Collaborate with UVMRP scientists to incorporate laboratory experiment findings regarding UV radiation effects on crops’ growth and development (such as photosynthesis, leaf area expansion, and biomass) into an ecological model (i.e. DayCent-UV).

Calibrate the UV version of the ecological model with field observations.

Couple the calibrated UV model with a regional climate model or regional climate observations to investigate the effects of solar UV radiation alone or in combination with other environmental stress factors on ecosystems at regional scales (such as the Western U.S.).

Ensure all data and scientific findings are documented.

Percentage Of Time 85 Job Duty Category Project reporting / Meeting organization / Scientific Coordination Duty/Responsibility

This position will conduct research and publish scientific findings in refereed journals, and make oral presentations at scientific conferences, and work with collaborators on all publications.

Communicate with the principal investigator, scientists and staff on projects regarding progress to ensure all deliverables are completed in a timely manner.

Percentage Of Time 15

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, applications should be submitted by April 21, 2018, 11:59 pm (MT).
Application materials consist of the following:
A statement of interest in this position, including how your experience fulfills qualification requirements
Names and contact information for three references, including, but not limited to, current and/or past supervisors

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Search Contact

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.