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Two M.S. Graduate Research Assistantships Small grains breeding and genetics

Description: The small grains breeding program (http://wheat.usu.edu/) at Utah State University (USU) in Logan, UT is seeking qualified applicants for two graduate research assistantship (GRA) positions beginning in January 2022. The GRA positions will enable highly motivated students to explore applied research topics related to breeding strategy development for winter wheat and/or barley. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to evaluate emerging breeding tools, such as high-throughput phenotyping and genomic selection, to accelerate cultivar development and to improve our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors that affect crop performance. Applicants interested in plant pathology may also undertake research related to breeding for resistance to dwarf bunt (Tilletia contraversa), a fungal pathogen affecting wheat production in the Intermountain West.

Desired Qualifications: Applicants should have a B.S. degree in plant science, agronomy, horticulture, botany, biology, or a related field. Applicants should also have a strong interest in applied plant breeding and the ability to work as a team member. Demonstrated technical writing abilities, effective oral communication skills, and some experience with field-based research and data analysis is preferred.

Duties/Responsibilities: The successful candidates will enroll in USU’s M.S. program in Plant Science within the Department of Plants, Soils & Climate and must complete all degree requirements by the end of the 2024 spring semester. Under the mentorship of Dr. Margaret Krause, the candidates will design and carry out data collection and analysis for an original research project. The candidates will be expected to prepare at least one first-author manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The candidates will also be expected to periodically participate in aspects of the field breeding program to gain experience in applied plant breeding.

wheat field

Apply: Interested applicants should send the following materials to Dr. Margaret Krause (margaret.krause@usu.edu): i) cover letter, ii) curriculum vitae, and iii) list of three references including names, email addresses, and telephone numbers. Applications will be reviewed immediately and will continue until the positions are filled.