Our group seeks a postdoctoral associate (1 year with possibility for extension) to perform independent research on one of two possible strands of research: 1) the vascular design of leaves (Strand 1), OR 2) water transport physiology (Strand 2). Strand 1 (vascular design) will focus on the costs, risks, and advantages of contrasting vascular designs of plant leaves, and we envision this work would include a combination of computer modeling, lab measurements of leaf hydraulic conductance, and/or leaf anatomic measurements. Key areas of interest include: a) the consequences of parallel venation vs reticulate venation, b) conduit and network traits conferring maximal leaf-specific hydraulic conductance, and c) the role of extraxylary (“outside xylem”) conductance and how the loss and/ or regulation of extraxylary conductance affects embolism, stomatal conductance, and photosynthesis. Strand 2 (water transport physiology) would focus on water transport traits leading to improved performance in crop species grown under water stress. We envision that investigations aligned with Strand 2 would rely heavily on greenhouse/growth chamber experiments and measurements of plant gas-exchange and hydraulic conductance, but could also include modeling components as well. Key areas of interest include: a) carbon costs associated with the construction and maintenance of hydraulic conductance in herbaceous species, b) the efficacy of root pressure to reverse embolism in herbaceous species, c) the anatomical and structural properties of xylem that facilitate root pressure, d) carbon costs and advantages associated with root pressure, and e) optimal coordination among root, xylem, and stomatal traits leading to improved crop performance under limited water. The postdoctoral associate will be expected to co-author manuscripts for scientific journals, write progress reports, and assist on proposal writing. The postdoctoral associate may also be responsible for training students and technicians on methodologies.
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