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Assistant/Associate Professor - Plant Transformation

Assistant/Associate Professor - Plant Transformation

Job No: 529139
Work Type: Tenure-Track Faculty
Location: Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Categories: Biology/Life Science, Agricultural Sciences
Department: 60010000 - AG-VP-AGRICULTURE / NAT RES

Job Description

Classification Title:

Ast/Aso Prof

Job Description:

The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is creating an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

The University of Florida is creating a Nexus where transdisciplinary scientists will co-create solutions to pressing problems such as human health and malnutrition, crop adaptation to a changing biotic and abiotic environment. The incumbent will be key to the success of this strategic and impactful endeavor by contributing to the creation of a state-of-art capability for plant transformation, enable a gene editing pipeline to enhance crop resistance to biotic stressors, nutritional value, and flavor, and interface with crop improvement scientists to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of crop genotypes suitable for sustainable crop production to farmers.

This is a 9-month tenure-accruing position that will be 75% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and 25% extension (Florida Cooperative Extension Service), available in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida). This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit. Duties will include building a vigorous and world-renowned research program that will lead to the successful application of transformation technologies for the improvement of crop adaptation to biotic stressors, flavor and organoleptic properties, post-harvest, and phytochemical profiles linked with better human health. The candidate is expected to collaborate with scientists in the Horticultural Sciences, Plant Pathology, Microbiology and Cell Science, Plant Breeding Working Group, and Food Science Departments, as well as the Research and Education Centers distributed across Florida. It is expected from the successful applicant to engage in transdisciplinary research to solve pressing problems such as Huanglongbing (citrus greening) and other emerging pathogens threatening the ability of Florida and global agriculture to feed a growing population. The successful candidate will be accountable for deploying plant transformation technologies including gene edits in elite germplasm and to supervise a high-throughput state of art plant transformation facility. Tenure will accrue in the Department that best fit the interests of the candidate and needs of the University. The faculty member will seek contract and grant funding to actively to support their program.

The successful candidate will participate actively in undergraduate and graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis, dissertation and undergraduate research, and publishing research results with students. Faculty are encouraged to participate in professional development activities related to teaching and advising and may teach courses and seminars.

Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.

Institutional Highlights:

The University of Florida boasts outstanding strength and breadth in the plant sciences with outstanding expertise in genetics, genomics, molecular biology, plant-microbe interactions, crop production, disease management, and quantitative modeling of crops and cropping systems. It is also home to a highly productive group of breeders focusing on specialty crops, and a leaders in synthetic biology.

The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The University of Florida is home to HyPerGator 3.0, one of the most powerful supercomputers available to a University in the world. It includes +70,000 cores for traditional computing and 608 NVIDIA GPUs for artificial intelligence analyses and high-performance bioinformatics.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant program, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain). The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 salaried faculty and 1,400 permanent support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation's largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:

A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in plant molecular and cellular biology, bioengineering, horticulture, plant pathology, or a closely related discipline is required. Candidates should have demonstrated working skills in the art of plant transformation and gene editing. The candidate must be literate in Artificial Intelligence and bioinformatics. In addition, the candidate must have demonstrated outstanding skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, ability to conduct transdisciplinary research, and procurement of extramural funding. The candidate must be able to communicate clearly about the application of transformation technologies with the public. Candidates must be supportive and able to deliver on the mission of the Land-Grant system. Candidates must also have a commitment to UF core values of excellence, discovery & innovation, inclusion, freedom & civility, community, and stewardship.

Preferred Qualifications:

Postdoctoral experience is highly desirable. Prior experience in extension, horticulture, agronomy, forestry and/or breeding is a plus.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit materials by February 9th, 2024. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

Please refer to Requisition # 529139

Charlie Messina

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Department of Horticultural Sciences

1251 Fifield Hall

Gainesville, FL 32611

Telephone: 352-756-2358

Facsimile: 352-392-6479

Electronic Mail:

Application Information
  • Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:
  • Cover letter that states applicant's interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for three individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Research statement with a maximum of 1,500 words
  • Teaching statement with a maximum of 1,000 words

  • Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

    Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

    The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

    Health Assessment Required:

    Applications Close: 16 Feb 2024

    To apply, visit

    The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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