Postdoctoral Scholar in Phytophthora Phylogenetics and Ecology

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
College of Agricultural Sciences
Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology


Forests harbor a significant portion of the Earth`s biodiversity and provide many essential ecosystem services. To protect forests from varied and intensifying biotic and abiotic threats effectively, we need to understand the nature of current and anticipated threats. The main goal of this joint project with Dr. Ekaterina Nikolaeva at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and Dr. Frank Martin at USDA-ARS is to characterize Phytophthora and other oomycetes associated with forest ecosystems. This project builds on two resources created by project participants and their collaborators: Phytophthora Database (PD;, an online platform that has been used by researchers and diagnosticians in more than 50 countries to identify Phytophthora and a collection of >2,000 Phytophthora and other Oomycete species isolated from diverse types of forest in 17 states. Two specific objectives are: enhance the understanding of the spatial and temporal diversity of Phytophthora associated with national forests and update PD to support pathogen identification, monitoring, and risk assessment better. Highly desired skills are phylogenetics, population genetics, and comparative genomics to identify phylogenetically informative loci and diagnostic markers. Main responsibilities include: identifying Phytophthora isolates via sequencing and phylogenetic analysis; characterizing and describing new species; analyzing resulting data to address several ecological/pathological questions related to forest health; and curating and updating data archived in PD. Salary will commensurate with experience. Applicants should submit a cover letter outlining relevant educational and research experiences and career goals, CV, and contact information for three referees. Candidates should have successfully defended their dissertation before the start date (January 2019) and demonstrate a proven track record of publication in relevant areas. Good oral and written communications skills are required. More information about this position should be made to Seogchan Kang at

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088