Summary of Duties: The incumbent will establish a program of research in potato developmental and postharvest physiology in collaboration with the WSU potato management research and extension team and the industry. Developing a research program that incorporates creative and innovative state-of-the-art approaches to defining, understanding, and manipulating crop growth and development to enhance the productivity and quality of potato is expected. The person in this position will establish an internationally recognized research program in potato physiology as it relates to in-season and postharvest management. Possible areas of study include basic processes and mechanisms regulating tuber dormancy, tuberization, flowering, photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, nutrient acquisition, nutrient assimilation/use efficiency, source/sink relationships, plant water relations and use efficiency, and biotic/abiotic stress tolerance.
Additional Duties Additional responsibilities include leading the postharvest phenotyping effort and assisting in the field selection of new varieties in ID, OR, and WA annually for the Northwest Potato Variety Development Program. Relevant skills include in depth knowledge of plant physiology and metabolism, potato growth and development, and postharvest physiology and storage systems. Understanding how abiotic and biotic stresses interact with management inputs to affect postharvest physiology and storability is of vital importance to the potato industry.
The incumbent will collaborate with departmental research and extension faculty in potato agronomy and management systems. On a broader scale, opportunities exist to collaborate with faculty in the departments of plant pathology, entomology, food science, and biosystems engineering at WSU and with university researchers and USDA ARS scientists aligned with the Pacific Northwest Potato Research Consortium to investigate fundamental aspects of potato biology, including interactions with other organisms that affect yield and quality. The incumbent will establish rapport with industry and communicate program results to stakeholders. Access to potato genotypes with varying degrees of resistance to biotic and abiotic stress from the Northwest Potato Variety Development program offers unique opportunities for fundamental research to determine the basis of tolerance/susceptibility to stress.
The successful candidate will be required to seek and secure extramural research funding, contribute scholarly literature, teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and effectively communicate research results to stakeholder groups. Teaching responsibilities include the mentoring and supervision of graduate students, guest lecture modules and a course in the areas of horticultural crop physiology and postharvest systems.
This position complements other Departmental and inter-Departmental programs, and USDA statewide and regional initiatives on potato, such as agronomy, breeding and genetics, variety development, disease resistance, postharvest biology/technology, nutritional enhancement, integrated pest management, and phenomics. The successful applicant will conduct an approved program of research consistent with the mission of the WSU Agricultural Research Center.
Required Qualifications: Earned Ph.D. in Horticulture or a closely-related discipline at time of hire
Evidence of ability to lead and manage a research program focused on potato physiology
Demonstrated record of scholarly accomplishments in basic and applied plant physiology commensurate with career level
Founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington State University (WSU) is Washington’s land-grant university with an overarching mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens – locally, nationally, and globally. WSU is committed to innovation and excellence in research and scholarship. WSU has a current enrollment of over 30,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and approximately 6,000 faculty and staff at its five campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett), as well as its numerous other locations across the State of Washington and online through its Global Campus.
U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "America's Best Colleges" rankings place WSU in the top 75 public national universities. WSU was one of only three Northwest universities to be placed in the top two tiers, along with the University of Washington and the University of Oregon. WSU is ranked as a "highest research activity" institution by the Carnegie Foundation and is in the top 12 percent of research universities as reported by the National Science Foundation. Also, WSU was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its engagement activities with i...ts Community Engagement Classification.
WSU employs approximately 6,000 faculty and professional staff and the University deeply values diversity among its faculty, students, and staff. WSU students represent diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds: approximately 10 percent of WSU students hail from outside the state of Washington, and approximately 6.8 percent are international students. WSU annually awards more than $280 million in scholarships and financial aid to approximately 17,000 undergraduate students.