Researcher 5 (Flower Breeding & Genetics – Anderson Lab)

University of Minnesota

New Hired from University of Minnesota

Job Description:

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Department of Horticultural Science

Position Title: Researcher 5
Classification: Researcher 5, 9752R5; 1-year contract, annually renewable for 3 years; 100% time; 12-month; 100% research
Department: Horticultural Science
Primary Work Location: UMN, St. Paul Campus
Other Work Locations: RROC, NCROC, WCROC, WROC
Supervisor: Neil Anderson, Professor and PI;
MAES Project: Flower Breeding & Genetics


  • M.S. degree in agronomy, horticulture, or plant sciences, with a demonstrated interest in flower breeding and genetics
  • One or more years of experience working with horticultural crops in capacities of: plant propagation (cuttings, seed, tissue culture), plant breeding and/or genetics, seed germination, seed respiration, contractile root growth, flowering, and field and greenhouse management, working with chemicals, and supervision.
  • Fluency in the English language.
  • Demonstrated excellence in organization, scheduling abilities, computer skills (word processing, spreadsheets, GPS), written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated competencies in DNA extraction and bioinformatics for SNP, GWAS, QTL analyses using STRUCTURE, R, DArTR, SplitsTree, or SPSS. Ability to travel to multiple locations for research programs.
  • A valid U.S. driver’s license is required.


  • Experience working with horticultural crops, preferably with flowers
  • Demonstrated experience and success in educating diverse audiences
  • Experience in bioinformatics
  • Professional writer.

Position Description:
Field and Greenhouse Research Project Management (50%)
Field & greenhouse research responsibilities for management of multiple research projects of our established flower breeding and genetics programs for pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, C. coccineum), sabadilla (Schoenocaulon officinale, S. texanum), ornamental chrysanthemum (C. xgrandiflorum), Arctic daisy (C. arcticum and subsp.), perennial flax (various Linum spp.), gladiolus (Gladiolus xgrandiflorus), other ornamental or hydroponic crops, or invasive species research crops (e.g. reed canarygrass [Phalaris arundinacea], purple loosestrife [Lythrum salicaria], etc.).

Responsibilities for field research trials include propagating & growing transplants (cuttings, seedlings), field labeling, irrigation, weed control, data collection, seed/flower harvesting, etc. Tasks will include conducting operations related to breeding and producing flowering crops in the greenhouses and fields. Propagation (from tissue cultured shoots, stem cuttings or seed), managing pests/diseases, recording seed germination or rooting success, transplanting, printing labels, and growing crops to
maturity is required. Perform field/greenhouse pollinations for classic breeding experiments; harvest, clean, count seeds, and record all data in electronic spreadsheets. Specialized equipment will be used as needed and problem-solving of issues required.

Field research requirements will involve use of appropriate field/lab machinery and technologies to complement lab/greenhouse research (e.g., Scanning Electron Microscopy or SEM), dissecting and transmission microscopes [UV, visible light], plant sample grinders [GenoGrinder], DNA extraction, quality control, and molecular marker equipment) with the goal of enhancing molecular markers in all crops and breeding for enhanced cold-tolerance, increased levels of esters (such as PyI, II) in trichomes of pyrethrum, alkaloids in Sabadilla seeds, non-shattering perennial flax, high Omega-3s in perennial flax, etc. Tasks will include designing, planning, implementing and evaluating research projects, pollinations, designing and implementing harvest parameters, conducting SEM analyses of pyrethrum flowers (counting trichomes) and/or using flow cytometry or classic cytology for ploidy determination.

Field Trial Project Management (40%)
Responsibilities will include planning, conducting, and harvesting field trials; data input & management; statistical analyses and organization of the germplasm bank data and experimental files for all crops, as collected in experiments. Data write-ups, monthly reports will also be included; preparation of manuscripts for publication; management of DNA extraction and SNP, GWAS, QTL analyses using STRUCTURE, R, DArTR, SplitsTree, SPSS, etc.; collecting data for plant growth parameters, winter survival, flower production, as well as oversight for weed control and irrigation. Summer travel to various research sites is required. Communication with the PI, other researcher scientists, graduate students, undergraduates and ROC field staff at all sites as well as coordination of data collection and dissemination is also essential.

Supervision, Mentoring, and Equipment/Lab Maintenance (10%)
Supervision and management duties include creating project plans and weekly work lists in concert with the team; training and overseeing undergraduate and graduate students in the field; leadership in directing the field staff at all sites; working as a team member with all personnel; monitoring and maintaining supplies for experiments and plant growth; maintaining equipment, and thereby ensuring clean work spaces at all locations.

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

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