Postdoctoral Fellow - Cereal Grains Breeding and Genetics

Job description

The Cereal Grains Breeding & Genetics Program led by Dr. Richard Boyles at Clemson University's Pee Dee Research & Education Center has a postdoc position available. The position was created to accelerate the research and application of genomic prediction and other advanced genetic/genomic technologies that will increase the program's efficiency and rate of
genetic gain in cultivar and hybrid development for multiple cereal grain crops, with a particular emphasis on wheat and sorghum. The postdoc is expected to contribute a major portion of his/her time toward developing bioinformatics tools, computational methods, and regression models in order to accurately predict overall genotype performance and individual quantitative trait values from high-density genotyping data. This includes the evaluation and incorporation of genotype-environment interaction and/or crop growth models to simulate genotype performance across location and time. The postdoc will serve as the bioinformatics and genomics lead across multiple projects with access to large genomic and phenotypic datasets. Funded projects that the postdoc will participate on include significant collaborations with the SunGrains cooperative breeding program (, private seed industry, and investigators at Cornell University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Project scopes include but are not limited to (1) wheat cultivar development for the southeastern USA, (2) trait discovery for biotic stressors, (3) sorghum improvement for organic production systems, and (4) genomic prediction in hybrid crops.

Major Responsibilities:

Development, testing, and implementation of genomic prediction – The postdoc will have immediate access to large phenotypic and genomic datasets as well as existing genomic prediction models established by the SunGrains cooperative breeding program and will be responsible for designing improved prediction models that better account for genetic relatedness, environmental interactions, and presence/absence of major genes. (60%)

Improve the trait discovery pipeline – This task is to advance the science of plant improvement through the development and/or implementation of (1) accurate and robust high-throughput phenotyping technologies, (2) computational solutions for management and analyses of large genetic, phenotypic, and environmental datasets, and (3) approaches to rapidly and effectively explore crop diversity for useful gene discovery and the creation of new cultivars/hybrids for
commercial production. (30%)

Graduate student training and support – Knowledge and skills in bioinformatics, genomics, and computational biology are anticipated to be extremely valuable to aspiring plant geneticists and breeders. Educating students on basic and applied aspects in these fields will provide them with important experience that will help them be successful in their postdoctoral careers. (10%)


Required Qualifications

(1) PhD in breeding, genetics (population, quantitative or statistical), genomics, bioinformatics, or related field.

(2) Advanced knowledge and research experience in both breeding/genetics and computational biology/bioinformatics that will be needed for designing and implementing genomic prediction models for cultivar and hybrid development.

Desired Qualifications

(1) Postdoctoral research experience in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, or high-throughput phenotyping.

(2) Relevant project management experience (private industry, non-profit, or academic).

(3) Relevant experience in graduate and/or undergraduate student training.

(4) The candidate must be highly organized and able to work effectively with and manage a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and skillsets.

Application Instructions

Please apply to and submit the following:

  1. CV (required)
  2. The contact information for at least three (3) references (required)
  3. Cover letter (optional)

Full consideration will be given to candidates that apply before 31 January 2021.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.





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Job No:
Posted: 1/12/2021
Application Due: 3/13/2021
Work Type: Full Time