Careers in the Plant Sciences

PhD Assistantship - Larch Physiology and Root System Architecture Response to Drought

University of Idaho - Moscow, Idaho, USA

Position Title: PhD Assistantship - Larch Physiology and Root System Architecture Response to Drought
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Institution: University of Idaho
Department/Division: Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research
Field (e.g., systematics): plant ecophysiology and seedling biology
City: Moscow, Idaho, USA
General Information: A fully funded Ph.D. research assistantship is available through the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research (CFNSR) at the University of Idaho ( The student will study western larch (Larix occidentalis) seedling responses to manipulated drought acclimation, with an emphasis on changes in root architecture. The student will be advised by Dr. Andrew Nelson, Director of the CFNSR. Funding is available for four years beginning January 2020 through a USDA AFRI grant in collaboration with Professor Douglass Jacobs at Purdue University. The assistantship includes a competitive stipend, an out-of-state tuition waiver, full coverage of in-state tuition, and student health insurance. Additional funds are available for research supplies and travel.
Qualifications/Requirements: A M.S. degree in plant ecophysiology, botany, horticulture, forestry, or related discipline. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to work both independently and as a team member, and be comfortable traveling and working in the greenhouse, lab, and field. Applicants must have a valid U.S. driver’s license. The student must be able to pass a criminal background check and become qualified to drive University of Idaho vehicles.
Responsibilities: The student will research how western larch root architecture of different seed sources from wet and dry ecosystems in northern Idaho and Southeastern British Columbia responds to drought acclimation. The project will involve growing seedlings under different drought acclimation treatments in greenhouses and evaluating resulting root architecture. Hyperspectral scanning, red-green-blue imagery, and x-ray scanning will be used to assess plant physiological status, aboveground morphology, and root architecture by seed source in response to drought. Measurements will be paired with gas exchange and other direct physiology measurements. The student will be expected to present research results at scientific conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): The student is expected to begin 13 January 2020 and will be based in Moscow, Idaho, though a later start date may be possible.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter detailing their interest in the position, a curriculum vitae, contact information for three professional or academic references, unofficial transcripts, scores on the Graduate Record Exam, and examples of past research publications (if available) to Dr. Andrew Nelson ( Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found.
Web Link: http://
Compensation Range:
Contact Name: Andrew Nelson,