Postdoctoral Research Associate position in Plant Ecology

  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • Jul 5, 2024

Job Description:

Classification Title:

Postdoc Aso

Job Description:

The 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 Flory Lab at the University of Florida (UF) is recruiting a postdoctoral research associate for a project that examines the role of invasive plants in the eco-evolutionary dynamics of pathogen transmission across ecosystems boundaries and crop disease emergence (Goss et al. 2020 Annu Rev Phytopath).

This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project funded by the USDA-NSF-NIH Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease program. Our focus is the rapid emergence of Bipolaris gigantea, a fungal pathogen of grasses, on industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa containing less than 0.3% THC). We previously studied outbreaks of leaf spot epidemics on the invasive grass Microstegium vimineum in natural ecosystems (Stricker et al. 2016 Ecol Letters, Lane et al. 2020 Mycologia), and B. gigantea is found on monocot and dicot invasive and weedy plants bordering fields and into surrounding natural areas (Szarka et al. 2023 Mycologia). This project will examine ecological drivers of pathogen transmission within and between species and ecosystems, pathogen evolution on a novel host, and will develop eco-evolutionary infectious disease models for coupled natural-agricultural systems.

This postdoc position will work with two other postdocs already hired, and project PIs Luke Flory (UF Agronomy), Erica Goss, Phil Harmon and Brantlee Spakes Richter (UF Plant Pathology), Bob Holt (UF Biology), Nicole Gauthier (U Kentucky), Natalie Christian (U Louisville), Maria Orive (U Kansas), Keith Clay (Tulane University). The University of Florida has large and dynamic research programs in ecology and invasion science, plant and fungal, and genomics, providing a strong intellectual environment for postdocs.

The successful candidate for this position should have a strong interest and experience in community ecology. The focus with this position is on generating empirical data on how disease affects ecological interactions. Experience with disease ecology is desired but not a requirement.

Preferred start date is fall 2024 or as late as mid-spring 2025. Renewable annually up to 2.5 years. For full consideration please submit application materials by September 15, 2024.

Informal inquiries are welcome: S. Luke Flory,,

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 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 Ph.D. in ecology/evolution, biology, environmental science, or a closely related field is required. The successful candidate will have excellent demonstrated writing, presentation, and statistical analysis skills, and have experience managing large field projects. The postdoctoral researcher will be integrally involved in the design and implementation of field and greenhouse experiments, data analysis, manuscript preparation, presentations at conferences, and mentoring of summer REU students. Must be able to travel to field sites in Kentucky. There is not a fully remote option. Candidates must also have a commitment to UF core values .

Preferred Qualifications: Ideal candidates will have broad field ecology experience and peer-reviewed publications and will be familiar with disease ecology.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date.

  • Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:
    • Cover letter with a brief statement of interest,
    • Curriculum vitae containing links to relevant publications
    • Contact information (including email addresses) for at least 3 professional references

For additional information on the position, please contact:

S. Luke Flory


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 Employment Opportunity Employer. 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, promotion, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a variety of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

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.

Health Assessment Required: No