Project Scientist in Plant Sciences
University of California Davis
United States

Project Scientist, University of California, Davis, at Salinas, CA USA

A project scientist position is available at Salinas, CA location with an appointment he Plant Sciences Department of the University of California, Davis, under the supervision of Steve Fennimore.  The incumbent will manage a precision fumigation project for strawberries in conjunction with Frank Martin’s lab in the USDA-ARS facility.  The goal of the project is to develop a pest management program for strawberry and rotational vegetable crops.  This includes evaluation of fungal pathogen pressure in the soil using molecular techniques prior to strawberry planting and adjusting fumigation rates to reflect disease risk.  Remote sensing and precision yield data collection are used to evaluate the efficacy of treatment for disease management and impact on yield.  This position will support a large multidisciplinary project with 12 scientists and involve some travel to strawberry production areas in coastal California.  Experience with molecular techniques like qPCR, GPS/GIS, analysis of remote sensing data and disease diagnostics is desirable.  The employment contract is for 12 months with the possibility of extension.

Our location is in the heart of a $4.4 billion per year agriculture industry, 2 hours south of San Francisco and 40 minutes away from the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur area.  Interested parties please contact Steve Fennimore 


A. Design, organize, and lead an innovative research program focusing on precision management of soilborne pests in agricultural fields. This will include field trials and laboratory experiments, collecting and analyzing data across several sites in the central and south coastal production areas of California. The emphasis of the project is to make rational use of fumigants by applying them to the spatial areas of the field where most needed, and less where no disease pressure is detected.

B. Coordinate activities with collaborators from the USDA ARS, Farm Advisors, UC Extension Specialists, collaborators from NASA as well as growers. Research will involve soil sampling and processing, disease quantification, spatial data analysis, sampling of crop yields in strawberry and vegetable crops.

C. Train, consult with, and advise researchers with respect to design, analysis, and interpretation of scientific studies conducted in area of expertise.

D. Make substantive scientific, scholarly, and intellectual contributions by writing reports to funding agencies, giving talks and seminars at industry and scientific meetings, and publishing results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

E. Lead acquisition of funding through proposal writing and coordination with funding agencies including federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations and private companies.


A. Participate in professional societies and conferences both in California and nationally appropriate to his/her specific field.

B. Serve as a reviewer for research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate


A. Engage in public outreach activities that include presenting scientific research results to the general public including field days, trainings and workshops and providing relevant advice to individuals such as growers, other stakeholders or public agencies.
B. Engage in University service activities such as guest lecturing and committee service.
C. Engage in the training and supervision of laboratory staff on the interpretation, analysis, documentation, and reporting of analytical results.
D. Assures that laboratory procedures related to SOPs and ISO regulations are implemented and followed.

Qualifications: PhD in environmental sciences, plant pathology, soil chemistry, Soil science, or related fields. Experience in Experience with molecular techniques like qPCR, GPS/GIS, analysis of remote sensing data and disease diagnostics is desirable.  The employment contract is for 12 months with the possibility of extension. Ability to effectively communicate research results through oral presentations and written reports and scientific papers.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Benefits: medical, dental and vision coverage for the incumbent and immediate family.

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