Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Technology (TEST) group

Postdoctoral Research Associate: remote sensing
of limitations on plant growth


The Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Technology (TEST) group (www.bnl.gov/test) at Brookhaven National Laboratory is seeking a post-doc interested in developing the scientific foundation and technical ability to measure the balance between plant resource capture and utilization, repeatedly and non-destructively using remote sensing techniques that will provide sophisticated biological markers for physiological breeding programs. The post-doc will work closely with Drs. Serbin and Rogers to: 1) develop and validate relationships between physiological and biochemical markers for plant growth and the remote sensing signatures of those markers, thus enabling the retrieval of our diagnostic indices remotely and non-destructively, 2) will evaluate the use of these markers to non-destructively diagnose limitations on plant growth in a model system in a controlled environment, and 3) evaluate this physiological screening approach in the field using our existing unmanned aerial systems (UASs).

The successful candidate will join a small, highly collaborative, supportive group and have access to a high throughput robot based platform for biochemical analysis of plant traits, infrared gas analyzers, high-spectral resolution spectroradiometers, thermal cameras, a recently refurbished greenhouse, and a fenced and irrigated field site. He or she will also be able to leverage our existing UAS program, including small and heavy-lift UAS platforms as well as established permits to fly over our proposed field site.

The essential duties and responsibilities of the post-doc include:

  • Biochemical, physiological and spectroscopic measurement of plant traits,
  • Design and execution of greenhouse and field experiments,
  • The development and evaluation of PLSR models to remotely sense biological markers,
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals and present at scientific conferences.

Position Requirements

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • A Ph.D. in plant biology, remote sensing, or a closely related field (If not already graduated, Ph.D must be expected by April 2017),
  • Effective written and oral communication skills,
  • A record of publication in high quality internationally recognized journals.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with biochemical assays, gas exchange measurements, spectroscopy, remote sensing, or UASs,
  • Experience with R, or a similar language,
  • Demonstrated knowledge of whole plant physiology, especially plant growth,
  • Demonstrated knowledge of spectroscopy, especially the retrieval of plant traits from spectra.

Application Process

For additional information and to apply applicants should visit the BNL Careers website (jobs.bnl.gov) and search for Job #920. We are now considering applications and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified. Our preferred start date is May 1, 2017.

posted: 08 February 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.