Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist

Auburn University, Auburn
February 07 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


The College of Agriculture’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University is seeking candidates for the position of Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist with emphasis in Cotton, Peanut, Small Grains and Forages, and Commercial Turf grass/Ornamental Plant Pathology. This position supports the key mission of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology to keep the world’s people and food supply safe from pests and disease and to deliver unbiased, research-based information to Extension agents, farmers, stakeholders and producers on plant disease management through the development of nationally recognized research and extension programs. The expected start date is August 16, 2019. 

Responsibilities: This is a 12-month tenure-track position with 75% extension and 25% research responsibilities. The successful candidate will be expected to develop a nationally recognized Extension and research program in the area of plant disease management of economically important cotton, peanuts, forages, small grain crops, commercial turfgrass and ornamentals. The successful candidate will be expected to secure extramural funding to support programs, publish technical and refereed articles, and collaborate effectively with departmental faculty and colleagues in other disciplines. Expectations for the successful candidate will be to develop and lead a nationally recognized Extension and research program in the area of plant disease management for cotton, peanut, small grains and forages, and commercial turf grass and ornamentals. A successful Extension program in this position will include an effective social media presence along with traditional methods of technology transfer such as on-farm tests, grower workshops, farmer field days and the use of mass media. Educational outputs will deliver unbiased, research-based information via webinars, videos, apps, and i-books, electronic and printed publications, and other innovative means. Research productivity will be measured by extramural funding, development or application of new or innovative techniques, and the production of research publications.   The successful candidate will be a proactive member of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Agronomic Crops, Commercial Horticulture, and Animal Sciences and Forages Program Priority Teams. The individual will provide support for Extension agents, farmers, turf grass managers, agribusiness personnel, and other stakeholders by providing short and long-term solutions to plant disease disorders. The individual will be responsible for updating the plant disease portions of Alabama Cooperative Extension System IPM Guides on cotton, peanut, small grains, grain sorghum, forage crops, commercial turf grass and lawns, and ornamentals.  The successful candidate must have strong interpersonal and communication skills. It is expected that the candidate of choice will effectively support and work across extension teams, agency personnel, and producer organizations.

Qualifications: An earned doctoral degree in Plant Pathology or a related scientific discipline and strong knowledge and background in applied Entomology by the position start date. Documented experience and/or demonstrated ability in developing an individual and collaborative research program resulting in peer-reviewed publications. Possess proficiency in using social media tools. In addition, the candidate must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrate subject matter knowledge. Applicants must also demonstrate their potential to work cooperatively with faculty, students and industry to develop collaborative research and teaching programs.  The successful candidate must meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.

Desired qualifications: Qualified applicants will ideally possess extensive practical knowledge of and experience in conducting applied field research and in implementing plant disease management programs in cotton, peanut, small grains, grain sorghum, forage crops, commercial turf grass and lawns, and ornamentals. Desired qualifications also include post-doctoral experience, grantsmanship experience, training in entomology and/or agronomy, extension or outreach experience with an understanding of evaluating extension programs, expertise in statistics and experimental design, as well as familiarity with molecular biology, genetics, biotechnology and genomic approaches.

Application: Applicants must apply online and submit the following: 1) cover letter addressing the candidate’s experience pertinent to the responsibilities of the position, 2) current curriculum vita, 3) Statement of Philosophy of Extension and Research, and 4) copies of all transcripts, MS and PhD. When prompted during the on-line application process, please provide names, phone numbers and email addresses of three professional references. Only complete application materials will be considered for the position. Active review of applications will begin March 15, 2019, but the search will continue until the position is filled. Questions about the position should be directed to:      

Dr. Edward Sikora

 Search Committee Chair

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Auburn University



The University: Auburn University is a land-grant institution with a student enrollment of more than 25,000. The University provides instruction in approximately 70 academic departments and maintains graduate research and public service programs of a broad scope. The University is located in the city of Auburn in east-central Alabama near the metropolitan areas of Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama, and Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia.

Auburn University is an EEO/Vet/Disability Employer

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