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Postdoctoral Associate - Fungal Assemblages In Wildfire Smoke and Pyroaeromycoses (76680)

University of Florida
Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Jun 28, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Biology & Life Sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Other Social & Behavioral Sciences
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Wildfire smoke impacts human health in numerous ways, including impairment to respiratory, cardiovascular, and reproductive functions. Recent research has revealed that living microbes occurring in fire-prone communities comprise a significant portion of particulate matter from wildfires, but the consequences of these organisms for human health have yet to be documented. Our team will be the first to characterize mycoflora in smoke plumes from wildfire events using comprehensive culturomics and sequencing-based strategies to explore connections to human mycoses. A postdoctoral research associate position is currently open to participate in this exciting groundbreaking research in The Forest Pathology Laboratory ( ) of the School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences at the University of Florida. The Pyroaeromycoses team also includes colleagues from The UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, UF College of Medicine, University of Idaho and Kaiser-Permanente Northern California. This W.M. Keck Foundation-funded position is part the lab of Dr. Jason A. Smith (

We seek a highly motivated individual with a positive attitude, excellent interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and ability to work independently. Specific duties include project management, design and execution of culture-based and high-throughput MiSeq and HiSeq-based, community fungal identification studies, qPCR detection of fungal species from wildfire smoke samples, data management and analysis, publication of experimental results, and when appropriate, mentoring students.

The Smith lab is housed on the University of Florida campus, within walking distance to world-class facilities such as the UF HiperGator 3.0 SuperComputer Cluster, UF Genetics Institute, Emerging Pathogens Institute, Florida Museum and many others. We also have strong external partnerships, which the selected candidate will work to maintain including with several fungal herbaria.

The School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences is an interdisciplinary unit housed in UF/IFAS ( ) and has teaching, research, and extension education programs in three broad areas: Forest Resources and Conservation; Geomatics (surveying, mapping, remote sensing, GIS, and GPS); and Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. The SFRC has > 60 faculty members, ~ 60 administrative and programmatic staff, > 250 graduate students, and >350 undergraduate students. The School offers bachelor’s degrees in Forest Resources and Conservation, Natural Resource Conservation, Geomatics, and Marine Sciences; thesis and non-thesis master’s degrees in all focal areas, including a number of innovative distance education master’s programs; and Ph.D. degrees in all focal areas.

The SFFGS is committed to supporting work-life balance and creating an environment that promotes and supports a more diverse and welcoming faculty, student body, and overall workforce within the School ( ). We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, Cooperative Extension/outreach, mentoring, and professional service.

Required/Preferred Qualifications: Required: PhD in microbiology, mycology or related discipline, with experience in NGS of microbial communities/assemblages, proficiency with qPCR and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Preferably experience working with culturing and identifying fungi.

Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system. Candidates must also have a commitment to IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.

We value diversity in the workplace and recognize that candidates may have their own sets of skills in fields that may not completely match the advertised position. Thus, any individual meeting the requirements described above and interested in advancing the Pyroaeromycoses project is encouraged to apply. Specific skills and experience that would translate directly to this position include:

  • Experience culturing fungi
  • Experience with NGS of microbial communities/assemblages and qPCR for pathogen detection
  • Pyroaerobiology/aerobiology experience

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to and submit:

  • Cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for 3 individuals willing to write letters of recommendation

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 Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity 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 .


The University of Florida 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, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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