Agrivoltaics (AVs), the co-located production of solar energy and crops, is an emerging technology that can reduce competition for land and provide climate-smart solutions to improve land use efficiency (combined crop and electricity yield), crop water-use efficiency, profitability, and the economic resilience of farmers. Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as part the Sustainably Colocating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems (SCAPES) project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of SCAPES is to provide the interdisciplinary research, outreach, and educational opportunities that will optimize the design of sustainable AV technologies for diverse crop species (row crops, forage, and specialty crops) acrossthree biophysically diverse regions in the U.S.: Illinois, Colorado and Arizona.
The ecophysiology postdoc will focus on measuring photosynthesis, photoinhibition, conductance, plant water relations of select C3 and C4 crops growing in different configurations under commercial and experimental photovoltaic solar arrays. In addition, the postdoc will characterize the dynamic atmospheric and soil microenvironment between andunder solar arrays. The agronomy postdoc will quantify crop development and patterns of biomass allocation, including root growth, of crops growing under the treatments described above. It is expected that both postdoctoral associateshave experience conducting field research, under sometimes adverse weather conditions, and will contribute to a highly collaborative work environment where they will coordinate research activities with a large team of collaborators, supervise technicians and undergraduates, and write manuscripts. Field work will be conducted on solar farms inChampaign County, Ill.
The ecophysiology postdoc will work primarily under the guidance of Carl Bernacchi, Evan DeLucia, and Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, and the agronomy postdoc will work primarily under the guidance of DoKyong Lee and Bruce Branham. The postdocs will be expected to collaborate with economists, ecosystem modelers, and others in the SCAPES project.
- A D. or the equivalent in plant physiology, ecophysiology, agronomy, or related field
- Experience with laboratory and field work
- Strong English writing and oral communication skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Ability to work in a collaborative environment
- Ability to travel frequently to research sites in Illinois
- A valid driver’s license
Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes:
- A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted)
- Experience with gas exchange and micrometeorology measurements, and above- and belowground plant sampling, and soil coring
- Knowledge of soil temperature and moisture monitoring equipment
- Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things
All candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field within the past five years. The position is available for two years, with possible extension further; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual. This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.
Application review will begin Jan. 31, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally on April 1, 2022. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contactinformation for three professional references. Please put the specific postdoctoral position for which you would like to be considered in the subject line of your email to Basia Latawiec, Research Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the position, please contact Bernacchi at email@example.com, DeLucia at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gomez-Casanovas at email@example.com, Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Branham at email@example.com.
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