The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is seeking a full-time Assistant Scientist II research position with a focus on urban agriculture and food security. Global food insecurity is projected to increase dramatically in the next 30 years and food production must increase by 60-100% to accommodate the anticipated population in 2050. However, current agricultural practices are highly inefficient; for example, the efficiency of agrichemical delivery rarely exceeds 25% and 30-40% of food is lost or wasted across the "farm to fork" continuum due to system inefficiencies. Experts predict that a global transformation of the agri-food system is needed to address these challenges. One component of this transformation will involve dramatic increases in highly localized and urban-centered food production technologies and strategies. The successful applicant will conduct research and outreach in collaboration with other scientists and stakeholders to develop and improve alternative agricultural techniques to support sustainable food production and delivery in urban areas. Potential research topics include but are not limited to: novel means to fortify foods, increase efficiency of nutrient delivery and utilization, increase tolerance to stress (drought, salinity, poor soil), improve community garden productivity, develop scalable high-intensity soil-based and hydroponic production systems, vertical farming, or use of high tunnel/hoop houses to extend growing seasons. Additional topics such as controlled-environment agriculture (sensors, robotics, improved lighting efficiency, precision agriculture), understanding the interactions between microclimate parameters and plant growth, addressing, waste nutrient recovery/recycling in urban farm systems, and strategies to couple urban farming with alternative sustainable energy sources/storage are also relevant. This position will advance CAES efforts to become a leader in combating food insecurity in urban settings. Interested candidates should submit the following electronically before 5/1/2021: 1) Curriculum Vitae; 2) statement of research interests; 3) reprints of recent publications; 4) official university transcripts; and 5) arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to: Jeffrey S. Ward, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Department of Forestry and Horticulture, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT 06504, tel. 203-974-8495, fax. 203-974-8502, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov. Our website: https://portal.ct.gov/caes.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in food or agricultural sciences, agricultural engineering, horticulture, or closely related disciplines; as well as a demonstrated ability to acquire and manage competitive funding; effective oral and written communication skills; be able to present a coherent and well organized presentation; have an exceptional publication record in high quality journals; a strong willingness to interact with members of the general public, including both elected and regulatory officials; and a strong desire to establish a multidisciplinary research program with significant internal (CAES) and external scientific collaborations.
Additional Salary Information: competitive medical and dental benefits