Assistant Professor of Translational Plant Science for Dairy Sustainability

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences

Madison, WI

Job posting number: #7214569

Posted: February 6, 2024

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary:

The dairy industry relies on plants to feed animals, with ideal cultivars promoting animal health and productivity in systems that are sustainable in profitable, environmental, and social dimensions. The industry is faced with environmental-related challenges, including excess nutrient excretion by animals, manure nutrient losses to the environment, greenhouse gas emissions from dairy livestock enteric methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide and CH4 emissions from soils when manure is returned to fields, all requiring potentially costly solutions. There is the potential for using production systems to alleviate environmental challenges by fostering nutrient use efficiency and carbon sequestration. An exciting opportunity exists to tailor cultivars used for cattle that simultaneously support animal health and productivity while mitigating negative environmental impacts. The incumbent will generate knowledge to advance development of cultivars that will perform within next generation cropping systems, support beneficial environmental and rumen microbiome interactions, and contain novel characteristics that substantially enhance dairy system function and sustainability.

As part of their efforts, the Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences and the Dairy Innovation Hub seek to fund a full time 9-month tenure-track faculty position to build an internationally recognized and extramurally funded research program and an impactful teaching program that focuses on plant science research that supports animal health and productivity, including milk quantity and/or quality, while minimizing negative environmental impacts and improving profitability of dairy systems. This position carries a commitment to the three functions of research, instruction, and outreach, as well as professional and university service as appropriate to the position and rank.

The incumbent will carry out impactful genetics, physiological, and/or breeding research to understand basic biological processes and develop practical solutions to improve cultivars used for dairy animal feed and other uses in production systems. Research will support animal health and productivity, rumen function, and will promote climate health, farm profitability and sustainability. The portfolio of projects should include some with near-term positive impacts to farmers. It is anticipated that the incumbent will utilize various plant species and system types in their research. The individual will be part of the Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). The incumbent will be expected to contribute to teaching departmental undergraduate major(s) and other related plant science undergraduate majors and be a trainer in the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics graduate program among other potential graduate training units on campus.

Perform research, teaching, and outreach in an area of expertise in ways that are relevant to dairy agriculture and related fields.

Develop and carry out a vigorous extramurally-funded research program recognized at state-, national-, and international-levels for innovative approaches to advance dairy-related land and water stewardship. The candidate will work independently and within a collaborative research team to support the mission of CALS and the Dairy Innovation Hub.

Teach graduate and undergraduate students, commensurate with college expectations and consistent with the teaching loads of the department. Mentor students and promote their development and success in a collaborative environment.

Facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts within the department, college, campus, and federal labs.

Contribute to outreach and service functions of the department, college, university, and professional societies.

Consistent with the mission of the University of Wisconsin System, the candidate will be committed to service to the community, state, nation, and world for the benefit of all.

Contribute to programs aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department, college, and university. Promote an inclusive and diverse climate within our campus and associated communities.
Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion

PhD in breeding, plant genetics, plant physiology, plant sciences, or closely related field. PhD must be received by the start date of the position.

The candidate must have a strong knowledge base in breeding, plant sciences, or related fields. The candidate must document strong research experience, and demonstrated ability to teach, mentor, communicate (oral and written form), publish, and secure competitive funding.

More information can be found at

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