From 2014 to 2017, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska has invested in infrastructure to support high-throughput plant phenotyping platforms that offer the opportunity to use imaging tools to dissect plant phenotypic traits in a high throughput manner. Gathering phenomics data provides a new avenue for plant biologists to use genomic data and computational methods to gain insight on plant development and the basic mechanisms underlying resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The long-term goal is to translate findings to enhance sustainability of crop production and improve our understanding of plant biology and physiology. Infrastructure investments have been made to establish an automated, high-throughput plant phenotyping platform in a greenhouse that includes a conveyor belt with 672 plants capacity and 4 imaging chambers. A one acre field phenotyping site under an automated cable suspended carrier system (Spidercam) holding multiple instruments has also recently been installed. The field-based platform is situated over a state-of-the-art subsurface drip irrigation system for control of water and nutrient delivery to 130 (15-20 ft) microplots.
A position is available for a field phenomics scientist to take primary responsibility for managing the daily operations of the field facility, which includes imaging of plots on a daily basis, ensuring integration of data from the multiple cameras and sensors, working with faculty to achieve research objectives, tracking usage of the facility, and working with others within the Institute on billing and agronomic operations. This position will report to the Director of Phenomic Science Research who assumes overall management responsibility for the plant phenotyping platforms at UNL.
Required Qualifications: A PhD degree in Plant Sciences, Data and Computer Sciences, Engineering or related fields at time of appointment; minimum 2 years of relevant experience; knowledge and experience in systems operation, measurement and imaging strategies for plants; knowledge of integrated data collection from cameras and sensors; a strong technical understanding of basic mechanical devices; ability to work with and contribute to teams’ efforts seeking external funding; and ability to complete research projects in a timely fashion. Interest and customer service ethic required to lead a core facility.
Preferred Qualifications: Skills in experimental design, implementation of experiments and experiment management, strong interpersonal skills, self-motivation to complete projects and ability to drive new innovations in the Spidercam field phenotyping system and other platforms.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. Nebraska, a member of the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is classified within the Carnegie “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” category. Nebraska is also a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universitie...s (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The University of Nebraska was founded on February 15, 1869.