Postdoctoral Scholar

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


How to make biocontrol effective and reliable? Three labs at Penn State, Seogchan Kang (fungal genetics/genomics), Terrence Bell (phytobiolome), and Beth Gugino (vegetable pathology extension), are recruiting a Postdoc who will help address this question. This project, mainly supported by the USDA Specialty Crop Multi-State Program, explores this question of how Trichoderma biocontrol agents interact with soilborne fungal pathogens, tomato, and soil microbial communities and how their interactions affect tomato growth and health. University of Maryland and University of Florida also participate in this project. You will take multi-scale (ranging from metabolites and genes to multitrophic organismal interactions in greenhouse and field trials) and multi-disciplinary (fungal genetics/genomics, chemical ecology, microbiome analysis, molecular imaging, and isolation and characterization of potential biocontrol agents) approaches to study both how biocontrol works and why biocontrol fails under certain conditions. As noted by Thomas Edison – “I can never find the things that work best until I know the things that don’t work,” without insights from both successes and failures, biocontrol would continue to be like blindly shooting a target that is obstructed by a series of moving obstacles. Actionable insights from this project will help make biocontrol more reliable and effective. You are expected to collaborate with another Postdoc for this project and may also participate in related soil ecology projects. You should submit a cover letter outlining relevant educational and research experiences and career goals, CV, and contact information for three referees through the Penn State Jobs Management System at Please also email the application package to Seogchan Kang at Candidates should have successfully defended their dissertation before the start date (early 2019). Applicants are required to have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate in an appropriate field. Excellent oral and written communications skills are required. Salary will commensurate with experience.

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