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[Arabidopsis] Postdoctoral position

Rutter, Matt via arab-gen%40net.bio.net (by RutterM from cofc.edu)
Wed Jun 15 15:00:42 EST 2011

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher/teacher to fill a central role in the NSF-supported Undergraduate Phenotyping of Arabidopsis Knowledgebase (UnPAK; see description below) project.  


The successful candidate will possess a PhD in the biological sciences, have skills in database design and maintenance, be enthusiastic about teaching part-time in the College of Charleston Biology Department's ecology/evolution course sequence (details below) and mentoring undergraduate researchers. An ideal candidate will also possess additional technical skills including PCR-based methods, experience with plant growth chamber or greenhouse growing methods (ideally in Arabidopsis), and cyberinfrastructure/bioinformatics capabilities.  


This position offers substantial opportunities in both research and education, and would be ideal for an individual who aspires to an academic career at an institution that embraces the teacher-scholar model. Individuals who are most successful at these institutions often bring experience in high-impact teaching and cutting-edge scholarship with them when they apply-exactly the experiences that will result from tenure as a UnPAK postdoctoral researcher. 


The UnPAK postdoc will have the first chance to synthesize genetic and phenotypic data as it is collected and will be encouraged to pursue independent projects within the context of the overall research program (use of phenotypic effects of T-DNA insertion mutants in Arabidopsis to answer fundamental questions about Arabidopsis genome structure and function across environments).  There will be extensive opportunities for professional networking during interactions among partner institutions involved in the project (including Barnard College, Hampden-Sydney, and University of Georgia).  


In addition to Arabidopsis research opportunities, the UnPAK postdoc can be involved in collaborative efforts in building educational resources. This postdoc will also have opportunities to learn about educational research, as the UnPAK network will serve as a context for understanding the impacts on undergraduates of participating in a research network


Initially, teaching would be within the College of Charleston course BIOL211, see http://catalogs.cofc.edu/pdf/Undergraduate_Catalog_2011-2012.pdf, page 148.


Inquiries about this position can be sent to Matt Rutter (rutterm from cofc.edu <mailto:rutterm from cofc.edu> ), Courtney Murren (murrenc from cofc.ed <mailto:murrenc from cofc.ed> ) or Allan Strand (stranda from cofc.edu <mailto:stranda from cofc.edu> ).  Applications should include a CV, a cover letter, and contact information for 3 references and can be sent as PDF files directly to Allan Strand (stranda from cofc.edu <mailto:stranda from cofc.edu> ).   Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  The College of Charleston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.


A short overview of UnPAK

The research community has generated a set of T-DNA insertion lines aimed at elucidating the functions of the ~27,000 genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. These lines are thought to represent "knockouts" of most A. thaliana genes, yet the vast majority display subtle if any morphological phenotypes. This "absence of phenotype" phenomenon has been observed in other model systems. In yeast, researchers have turned their focus to characterizing performance attributes of knockouts, such as population growth rate and fitness as well as the plasticity of these traits across environments.  This strategy has succeeded in finding phenotypic differences where none had been previously observed. Given this proof of principle and its utility for answering questions about genetic redundancy and genomic evolution, we are applying a similar approach to the study of A. thaliana as a multicellular and autotrophic model. We are doing so through collaboration among primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), thus training future researchers in the process of building a body of published work in genomics and applied ecology and a network of collaborators. 

Matt Rutter
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
College of Charleston
rutterm from cofc.edu

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