The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in agricultural microbiomes. Understanding and harnessing beneficial microbiomes to improve crop production and enhance stress resilience is an urgent priority for advancing sustainable management of agricultural systems in the face of increased population demand and more extreme climate conditions. We anticipate the need for applied microbiome expertise and seek an individual enthusiastic about extending microbiome information into real-world systems.
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
The position includes 20% research and 80% extension. In this context, the successful candidate is expected to develop an applied research program that flows seamlessly into a translational research program within their extension appointment. Possible focal areas for this research and extension program include, but are not limited to, plant symbionts, plant-microbe-soil interactions, nutrient acquisition and cycling, pre- and postharvest microbial systems, commercial treatments with beneficial microbes, and other microbiome topics that enhance sustainable agriculture, particularly for high-value crops in the North Carolina agricultural industry. To this end, expertise in any area relevant to beneficial agricultural microbiomes is welcome, such as genetics and genomics, breeding, ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and so on. A well-qualified individual would be able to contribute to multiple areas of relevance to North Carolina.
NCSU provides a highly collaborative and supportive environment, and the position will have many
opportunities to collaborate with others working in crop and microbiome research in the department as well as with research and extension faculty in the Departments of Crop and Soil Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Horticultural Science, and Biological and Agricultural Engineering, among others. This position is also part of the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program in Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities, which includes faculty from three colleges.
Duties and responsibilities
- In addition to translational research that can be used in extension efforts, the extension component of the position may include a combination of microbial product efficacy studies, provision of information and training to extension agents, dissemination of best practices, identification of stakeholder needs, and other efforts relevant to growers, processors, and the agricultural biotech industry in the region. Good communication skills will be essential to convey information to diverse audiences with differing levels of expertise. The position will have a mentoring committee that includes both research and extension faculty to help facilitate their success.