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How to Apply

Please attach a cover letter describing your research experience, qualifications, and interest in the position, and your curriculum vitae. Please also send a relevant publication and contact information for three references by e-mail to Dr. Jennifer Blesh (jblesh@umich.edu) with the subject heading “Agroecosystem Postdoc position.” Review of applications will begin on February 22, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

Job Summary

The School for Environment and Sustainability's overarching mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth's resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. Through research, teaching and outreach, faculty, staff and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve natural and environmental resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis. The University of Michigan also has a strong and growing program in Sustainable Food Systems with an interdisciplinary approach. Since 2010, a cluster of five faculty centered on the theme of sustainable food systems was hired in the fields of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Public Health, and Urban Planning. The new faculty have combined with over 50 other faculty at UM to form the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative (SFSI), which engages in educational, research, and community engagement activities related to food, agriculture, and sustainability. 

The Soil and Agroecosystems Laboratory in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan seeks candidates for a two-year postdoctoral research position to lead a field experiment focused on the perennial grain, intermediate wheat grass. The position is part of a project funded by USDA-NIFA (Harnessing perennial grain-legume intercrops for agroecosystem sustainability), which aims to understand how intercropping intermediate wheat grass with forage legumes affects ecosystem services related to nitrogen cycling and soil health. The experiment will determine the potential for legume nitrogen fixation to meet the nitrogen needs of IWG, quantify the relative contribution of above- and below-ground legume biomass to nitrogen inputs and soil carbon and nitrogen cycling processes, and improve mechanistic understanding of species interactions that lead to potential yield gains or other ecosystem services in multifunctional cropping systems. The postdoc will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers, extension educators, farmers and other food system stakeholders on this and related projects.

The candidate will lead field and laboratory work to collect and analyze plant and soil samples from the experiment and will advise and collaborate with graduate students and field assistants working on the project. The candidate will take a leadership role in writing journal articles and presenting findings to the scientific community. The candidate will also engage with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders through participation in field days and other outreach activities.

The initial appointment is for one year, with the possibility of extension for an additional year based on performance. The preferred start date is May 10, 2021.

Required Qualifications*

A Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, soil and crop sciences, agroecology, or a related field, with experience in field and laboratory techniques to analyze carbon and nitrogen pools in plants and soils. Proficiency with data analysis in R or another statistical program, and strong written and oral communication skills are also required. This position will require engagement with farmers and the broader agricultural community in Michigan.

Desired Qualifications*

A record of research productivity, grant-writing experience, and excellent interpersonal skills.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.