PhD Student Opening: Arkansas State University – Lorence Laboratory

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


The Lorence Laboratory at Arkansas State University invites applications for a PhD student to join the project “Comparative Genomics and Phenomics Approach to Discover Genes Underlying Heat Stress Resilience in Cereals” funded by the National Science Foundation. This work takes places as part of a vibrant collaborative research consortium involving faculty at University of Nebraska Lincoln, Kansas State University and Arkansas State University.  The project will create the foundational knowledge needed to improve wheat and rice yields under stressful environments. Trends at the global level, regional level, and farm level point to an increase in minimum night temperatures that is significantly higher than the rate of increase in maximum day temperatures. Increases in night temperatures significantly decrease the grain yield and quality of major crops such as rice and wheat, which, together, provide over 50% of the caloric intake for humans worldwide. To ensure global food security, there is an urgent need to improve crop resilience to high night temperature stress-induced yield and quality losses. This project builds upon complementary expertise and infrastructure in Nebraska, Kansas, and Arkansas to develop novel research infrastructure and make discoveries that ultimately lead to development of higher yielding and resilient cultivars for U.S. farmers.


Specific Duties:

The student will work as part of a multidisciplinary team testing the effect of high night temperature stress in the physiology and yield of a rice diversity panel that will be grown in experimental plots in Arkansas. This student will also explore the link between ascorbic acid content and chalkiness in the grain of this rice diversity panel. High-throughput plant phenotyping approaches will be a key component of this project.



We are seeking a highly motivated student with knowledge (MS) in plant biology, plant biochemistry, biotechnology or related field and hands-on experience conducting field work with plants. A good command in both oral and written English is required. Additional experience working with cereals is a plus. Ability to work well with a team, self-motivate, work independently as well as possess high enthusiasm for science are the most important attributes we are looking for.

The selected candidate will receive 3 years of stipend and tuition. This student will be also be provided unique cross-training opportunities as well as resources to participate at regional, national and international meetings.

Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and names of contact information of 3 references. Please send applications to Prof. Argelia Lorence at alorence [at] astate [dot] edu. The application deadline is March 30, 2018 to start this position in June 2018. Evaluation of candidates will be based on the letter, quality and relevance of previous studies and publications (if any).



For additional details about this position, please contact Dr. Lorence (alorence [at] astate [dot] edu).