[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping/Phenomics Lead

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[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping/Phenomics Lead

Volkan Isler-2
Dear robotics world-wide,

We have an opening related to robotics and computer vision in agriculture.

Here is the application link. I will also paste the description below.


Volkan Isler

Job Title:
High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping/Phenomics Lead

Job ID: 320836
Job Code: 9742R6



● PhD in Agricultural, Biological or Environmental Sciences; Computational
Sciences; or Engineering.
● Advanced knowledge of engineering, sensing and data collection and
analysis, computational methods and applications, and/or statistics applied
to measurement sciences in a plant biology setting.
● Advanced experience in a research setting.
● A keen passion for mastering the rapidly evolving technology field in
measurement sciences, engineering and computer sciences related to this
discipline, portable electronics, robotics and automation, and “big data”
platforms with a demonstrated ability to deconvolute complex targets and
adopt various degrees of complexity to the solution.
● Excellent communication and networking ability with internal and external
audiences who have a wide range of scientific expertise.
● Strong leadership, networking, and consensus building abilities required.
● Demonstrated ability to secure funding from public and private sources.


● A deep understanding of plant biology.
● Understanding of biological sciences applied to plant systems biology,
variety development, agronomy, and/or sustainable production.
● An historic emphasis on phenomics or measurement sciences.
● Excellent knowledge of experimental design and analysis in laboratory and
field scale setting for variety testing.
● Demonstrated ability to explain complex modern technologies to other
scientists and to non-technical business partners.
● A proven ability to work closely with colleagues on complex projects with
a high degree of flexibility and comfort with change.
● Visionary, entrepreneurial, and innovative attitude strongly preferred.

About the Job

*Position Overview*

The University of Minnesota excels in agricultural and environmental
sciences.  At present, shared University research platforms delivered
through core facilities are effectively scaled for the generation of
genotypic, metabolic, and environmental data.  These data can be analyzed
as complex datasets via the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. However,
the ability to generate high-throughput phenotypic data to match the size
and accuracy of genotypic and environmental data is limited.  This impacts
the ability of researchers to address complex biological, ecological and
agro-economical questions.

To enable University of Minnesota researchers to fully exploit the power of
“big data” in biological and ecological research, the University of
Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
(CFANS) and a selected group of private partners are seeking to develop
novel platforms for high-throughput phenotyping and expertise aimed at
implementing phenomics for agricultural and environmental research.  This
effort will adopt off-the-shelf and emerging technologies and capitalize
upon University of Minnesota faculty expertise in sensors, robotics and
unmanned aerial vehicles, integrating selected technologies into
measurement platforms (operational toolkits) that support faculty research
by delivering high-quality data.  These platforms will operate under a
service model to support faculty principal investigators and external

In a first wave of platform development, the focus is on whole plant
phenotyping in natural, research or production field, or controlled
environments. Future waves of platform expansion may include
high-throughput or high-accuracy measurements for laboratory settings and
additional targets to be determined on the basis of faculty’s interest,
research focus, and state and national priorities.  Key objectives of each
wave of platform development are: (a) securing technical support of college
faculty and private partners for the design and implementation; (b)
delivering research platforms that are operational at the necessary scale
while retaining flexibility and expansion opportunities; and (c) securing
funding from multiple intra- and extra-mural sources for the establishment
and operation of the platforms.

The position of High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping/Phenomics Lead is funded
for two years with the potential of extension based on demonstrated success
in the design and implementation of the research platforms.  The position
is to be based on the St. Paul campus, reporting to the CFANS Associate
Dean for Research or official designee.

*Job Description*

Primary responsibilities for this position include:

1. (40%) Plan and develop scope, strategy, and models of operation of a
comprehensive high throughput plant phenotyping plan as a first component
of the University of Minnesota Measurement Sciences Initiative.  Lead the
design and implementation of phenomics platforms via engagement with the
CFANS faculty and leadership, and private partners.   The design should be
based on an objective assessment of needs, research priorities aligned with
faculty and university strategies, and on feasibility of short-, medium-,
and long-term impact on CFANS’ ability to address increasingly complex
biological and ecological questions. Maintain continuous alignment with
platform evolution strategies at Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, UM
Genomic Center, CFANS Research and Outreach Centers, and other relevant
University entities.  Secure strategic support for the phenomics effort
from internal and external partners. Develop and maintain significant
understanding of and connection to relevant activities in CFANS, the
broader University, other institutions and private companies.  The scope of
this activity broadly spans from sensing and measurement technologies, to
robotics and automation, to data collection and dissemination platforms and
technologies (e.g., portable electronics, GPS/GIS, etc.), and to
agricultural machinery systems (e.g., tractors, planters, harvesters, etc.)
and is closely aligned with the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Engineering, the plant sciences departments (Agronomy & Plant Genetics,
Horticultural Science, Plant and Microbial Biology, and Plant Pathology),
the University of Minnesota Center for Applied Phenomics, the
Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plant Health, Remote Sensing and
Geospatial Analysis Laboratory, Precision Agriculture Center, and other
CFANS departments and units.

2. (20%) Coordinate the development of a portfolio of proof-of-concept or
feasibility research projects based on the agreed platform development
strategy, faculty’s needs, funding, and funding opportunities, and ability
to engage private partners.  Provide high visibility for this research
portfolio to key stakeholders within the University, among private
partners, and with relevant stakeholders.

3. (20%)Lead the development of future education, training, work force
development and professional development opportunities using the
measurement sciences platforms and their applications to agriculture.
Contributions might include developing or enabling workshops or other
training opportunities for plant scientists; creating or facilitating
opportunities for academic departments to incorporate measurement science
and agricultural applications in undergraduate and graduate education and
research; etc.

4. (10%) Develop funding strategies to support Measurement Sciences
platforms, including identification of internal, external, public, and
private sources of funding.  Establish models for public-private
interactions in the high-throughput plant phenotyping space.

5. (10%) Develop and execute communications and education activities that
enhance and incentivize application of high throughput plant phenotyping
research strategies.

How To Apply

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

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your
"My Activities" page and uploading documents there.

This position will remain open until filled.

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

If you are not a current University of Minnesota employee, please use the
following link:

If you are a current University of Minnesota employee, please use the
following link instead:

1. Select the below link to access our site.
2. Sign In to access your account, or if you are not an existing user
select the New User link to create one.
3. Review the job description and select the Apply button to begin your

Alternatively, please feel free to visit us on our employment site,
independently of this invitation:

Thank you.

*Volkan Isler *
*Professor, Computer Science & Engineering*
*University of Minnesota*

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