Faculty/Staff positions

For faculty and staff positions please visit careers.usask.ca.

Research/Graduate Student positions

The Global Institute for Food Security is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food.  This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in out talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners and stakeholders to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

PRIMARY PURPOSE

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is recruiting for a Ph.D. candidate in Plant Sciences in the Root-Soil-Microbial Interactions research group. The incumbent will participate in a collaborative project with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) focused on drought adaptations in oilseed crop species. Specifically, the Ph.D. candidate will discover and investigate mechanisms of drought tolerance and avoidance using novel high-throughput root and shoot phenotyping platforms and multi-omics analyses. Using integrated network modeling combining transcriptomics and metabolomics, the goal of the project is to identify key biological pathways and genes for drought and climate resilience. The Ph.D. candidate will perform their studies at AAFC, NRC, and GIFS laboratories in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and will be co-supervised by Professor Leon Kochian, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Food Systems and Security, and Dr. Allan Feurtado, Associate Research Officer in Seed and Root Biology at NRC. Project collaborators at AAFC Saskatoon include Drs. Isobel Parkin and Christina Eynck.

NATURE OF WORK

The incumbent will be part of the project “Systems approach for adaptation of Prairie oilseed crops: Multi-dimensional simulated and field environment omics for climate resilience and sustainability” and will utilize the lysimeter-based high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) Plant Array system at AAFC to analyze Brassica napus, B. carinata, and Camelina sativa germplasm. Measurements of plant water use efficiency, carbon assimilation and overall plant productivity will indentify oilseed germplasm divergent in drought response. Utilization of novel 3-dimensional imaging systems at GIFS and NRC will characterize root and shoot architecture responses to drought. Gene expression and metabolite analyses will be performed to construct biological networks towards the identification of key genes for drought resilience. The Ph.D position will provide comprehensive training in oilseed genomics, crop physiology, functional trait analyses and gene discovery. The overall project will be supported by a project team including the investigating scientists, technicians, and other graduate and undergraduate students cutting across organizations located within a key Canadian agricultural research hub.

ACCOUNTABILITIES

  • Physiological analyses of plant water use efficiency, drought tolerance, measurement of parameters such as stomatal conductance and carbon assimilation traits
  • Analyses of root system architecture to quantify root traits that describe root growth, topology and architecture under drought conditions; concurrent analyses of shoot architectural drought responses
  • Plant tissue collection, RNA isolation and qRT-PCR assays for multi-omics work
  • Statistical analyses of phenotype data, gene expression, and metabolite datasets
  • Generation of biological networks to identify key drought gene modules, hubs, and nodes

The research will deliver:

  • Assessments of the adaptive capacity of oilseed species to water stress events predicted to increase with climate change.
  • A prioritized list of drought tolerance and adaptation mechanisms of canola, camelina, and Ethiopian mustard germplasm.
  • An integrated knowledge network of transcripts, metabolites, and physiology for oilseed stress-resilience.

QUALIFICATIONS

A Master’s degree in plant biology or crop science with experience in plant physiology and molecular biology research. Previous course or thesis work on abiotic stress would be an asset.

SKILLS

  • Demonstrated ability and desire to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented, multidisciplinary research environment and computer proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in the English language, attention to detail, willingness to learn, and the desire to discover complex biological mechanisms.
  • Familiarity with next-generation sequencing data, gene expression analyses and skills in statistics and R are preferred

Please direct inquiries to Megan Paul, Human Resources Officer, GIFS, at megan.paul@gifs.ca.

Biotic and Abiotic Controls on Soil Organic Carbon

Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan 

Overall 

The Applied Pedology Laboratory at the University of Saskatchewan, led by Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn,  is looking to recruit a PhD student to investigate Biotic and Abiotic Controls on Soil Organic Carbon (SOC).   

Nature of Work 

You will be part of an industry-funded project that will enhance the availability of soil information for Saskatchewan, key for making land management decisions and assessing soil health. Your portion of the project will be responsible for completing an analysis using this enhanced soil dataset, along with complementary data sources from long-term studies, to investigate relationships between biotic and abiotic factors and dynamic soil processes in Saskatchewan agricultural systems. 

This work will primarily involve identifying and utilizing the appropriate advanced statistical procedures on existing data sets, focusing on how SOC cycling and sequestration potential are affected by soil management practices, cropping systems, soil type, and environmental change. 

Qualifications

  • A Master’s degree in soil science, plant science, agronomy or a related discipline.
  • Prior experience with R

Skills

  • Understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics
  • Experience with multivariate statistical analysis in R
  • Experience with remote sensing data analysis would be an asset

To Apply:

  • Send a resume, cover letter, transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable at this stage), and the names of two references to Dr. Preston Sorenson (sorenson@usask.ca).

The Prairie Swine Centre is seeking a passionate, bright, and highly motivated individual interested
for a position as PhD graduate student in the disciplines of swine nutrition, physiology, and health. The
successful candidate will join a strong, multidisciplinary academic and research team with expertise in
non-ruminant nutrition, feed processing, management, welfare, metabolism, and physiology.

The successful candidate will lead and assist with projects involving both classical swine nutrition
(growth performance, nutrient utilization) and advanced (metabolomics, proteomics, disease
challenge, PCR) techniques. Our current nutrition research program focused on the impact of earlylife
nutrition on growth, impact of nutrition on health, and factors affecting nutrient requirements and
utilization. The Postdoctoral Associate will also assist with the training and supervision of both
masters and doctoral graduate students. Pursuit of independent project funding is encouraged.

Qualifications: The desire and ability to lead research projects and work within a team of other highly
motivated individuals are of critical importance to this position. A vehicle and driver’s licence is
required. Candidates must hold, or will have completed, an MSc in a related discipline such as animal
science, animal physiology, nutrition, or veterinary science. Previous experience with livestock,
especially swine, and knowledge of nutrition and immunology, nutrient utilization, protein
metabolism, and feed formulation is required. Experience in bioinformatics, disease challenge
(biosafety-level 2), and meta-analysis and a track record of peer-reviewed publications will be
considered an asset.

Position start date is May 1, 2022. Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Prairie Swine Centre (www.prairieswine.com) is a non-profit swine production research corporation
affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan and located 10 km southeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It offers a nationally and internationally recognized program in research, technology
transfer, and education all directed towards the efficiency and sustainability of pork production.

The University of Saskatchewan (www.usask.ca) is located in Saskatoon, a city with a diverse and
thriving economic base, a vibrant arts community and a full range of leisure opportunities. The
Department of Animal and Poultry Science is well-recognized nationally and internationally as a research-intensive department. The department’s highly-trained and enthusiastic faculty members and adjunct professors have extensive, high-quality applied and basic research programs that cover a wide range of topics in animal science and related areas.

The Prairie Swine Centre and University of Saskatchewan have instated a number of health and safety
requirements for faculty, staff and students in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of January
4, 2022, being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is a condition of employment and proof of vaccination with a Health Canada approved vaccine will be required. The Centre will consider accommodations requests for individuals in accordance with the requirements of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018.

The Prairie Swine Centre and University of Saskatchewan believe equity, diversity, and inclusion
strengthen the community and enhance excellence, innovation and creativity. We are dedicated to
recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates
are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian
citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on theaccommodation request.

For international applicants, ability to obtain the necessary documents for travel and work in Canada
will be required upon offer of employment.

For more information or to apply please contact Dr. Dan Columbus. Interested candidates are asked to
include in their application package a cover letter including their career interests, their curriculum vitae,
and copies of transcripts. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Dr. Dan Columbus
Prairie Swine Centre
Box 21057, 2105-8th Street East
Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N9
Tel: 1-306-667-7432
Fax: 1-306-955-2510
Email: dan.columbus@usask.ca

The University of Saskatchewan has acquired funding to support eight West African and two Canadian Early Career Researcher (ECR) / Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) / PhD scholars (at dissertation stage) for an interdisciplinary exchange program between Canada, Ghana, and Senegal.

Please see the application for more details. 

Two M.Sc. and 1 Ph.D. positions are available immediately for work within the area of plant protein ingredients and food chemistry. The demand for plant-based protein alternatives around the globe is on the rise as consumers and the food industry search for non-dairy non-soy alternatives that are low cost, abundant, nutritious, functional and environmentally sustainable. However, significant ingredient innovation is required in order to bring new oilseed, cereal and pulse derived ingredients to the marketplace, and be competitive. The three research projects are as follows:

[1] Evaluation of the effects of germination on the physicochemical, functional and nutritional properties of Navy bean and red lentil flours.  This M.Sc. project examines changes to seed composition and morphology during germination overtime, and then accesses the functional attributes of their resulting flours (solubility, water/oil holding capacities and, foaming, emulsifying and pasting abilities). The project will also access changes to in vitro starch and protein digestibility.

[2] Examination of the impact of particle size on the wet extraction process for protein isolates from yellow pea, red lentil, Navy bean and Kabuli chickpeas, and their resulting physicochemical, functional and nutritional properties. This M.Sc. project examines the impact of particle sizes on the ability to extract proteins from a range of pulses for purposes of developing an isolate. The formed ingredients will be evaluated based on their composition, protein profile, interfacial properties functionality and nutritional value.

[3] Evaluation of the protein quality and functionality of flour and protein isolates from a variety of advanced pea breeding lines. This Ph.D. project examines the nutritional value, interfacial properties and functional attributes of flour and isolate ingredients derived from advanced pea lines bred for their amino acid profile and total protein content. Protein quality, will involve measuring amino acid profiles using multiple methods, and in vitro digestibility for determination of PDCAAS values).

Ideal applicants will: have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in Food Science or related discipline; have hands on experience in food chemistry or material science; have excellent oral and written communications skills; and have a publication record (in the case of Ph.D. applicants).

Funding for these opportunities is available at the University of Saskatchewan (Dr. Michael Nickerson) at a level of $20,000/yr for 2 years (M.Sc.) and $24,000/yr for 3 years (Ph.D.).

How to Apply*: Send your Curriculum vitae, transcripts, any recent publications, English test scores and a covering letter stating how your background and qualifications match the position to Dr. Michael Nickerson

*Only qualified matches will be asked to submit a formal application and interviewed.

Undergraduate Student and Summer term employment

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food.  This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in out talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners, and stakeholders to discover, develop, and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

PRIMARY PURPOSE

The Student Assistant will be part of the Data Management & Analytics team at GIFS working primarily on a plant root image annotation project aimed at generating a standard dataset for computer vision research & development activities, working in collaboration with the Root-Soil-Microbial Interactions (RSMI) program.


NATURE OF WORK

Reporting to the Technical Lead - Software Engineering, you will be a key member of GIFS and work collaboratively across GIFS with a focus in working with the GIFS RSMI program and the USask Department of Computer Science research team on plant root image labelling and high accuracy research dataset generation.

ACCOUNTABILITIES

  • Lead by example.
  • Visual inspection of images and sensor data.
  • Manual segmentation, grouping, tagging, labeling of visualized data using a software tool and mouse, which requires extremely high accuracy.
  • Adhere to instructions to properly complete and store results from requested annotations.
  • Additional duties as required to support a collaborative work environment.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • 2nd or 3rd year undergraduate student in Plant or Soil Sciences with knowledge of plant root biology and architecture

SKILLS

  • Ability to handle extensive periods of screen time and accurately label images.
  • Experience working in Windows operating system environment.
  • Comfortable using external computer mouse for tracing plant roots in images.
  • Basic programming skills (scripting, python) would be helpful but not required.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective, respectful relationships to ensure a culture of collaboration.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, organizational skills, and the acumen to manage multiple requests with competing deadlines.
  • Exceptional attention to details including in planning, organizing and record keeping.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team-oriented and diverse atmosphere.
  • Highly motivated with a willingness to learn and the proven ability to be self-directed, thriving in a dynamic environment.
  • A deep commitment to enacting equity, diversity, inclusion.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Computer proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook).

Interested parties can apply through USask Careers.

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food.  This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in out talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners, and stakeholders to discover, develop, and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Primary Purpose

The student will be a member of GIFS primarily in supporting research and postdoctoral associates, technicians and graduate students working in diverse areas including plant molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology, genetics and soil science with the GIFS Root-Soil-Microbe Interactions group.

Nature of the Work

Reporting to the Director of Operations with day-to-day technical supervision by project’s research associates/postdocs, you will be delivering the project’s experimental needs including the necessary care and maintenance of plants grown in both greenhouses and growth chambers growing both in soils/potting mix and hydroponics, assisting in root and shoot phenotyping, solution preparation, and laboratory maintenance. You will be part of the GIFS team and your work is highly interconnected with other programs within GIFS. Work volume is moderate with a moderate degree of judgement required for day to day technical decision making. The impact of error is moderate as it could result in lost time.

 

Accountabilities

  • Monitor and harvest plants, including pest management, clean seeds and maintain proper seed collection.
  • Responsible for taking phenotypic measurements of plant shoots and roots through their growth cycle for plants grown in the greenhouse or growth chambers.
  • Provide technical assistance for collection of tissue samples and their processing.
  • Support the development of and adherence to standard operating procedures and laboratory and safety protocols, including the use of an electronic lab notebook.
  • Establish and maintain relationships throughout GIFS to promote interfacing with technology platforms and scientific programs.
  • Support research project’s operations e.g., lab and greenhouse supplies and consumable requirements, etc.
  • General lab tasks (buffer preparation, growth media preparation).
  • General molecular biology lab work (DNA/RNA preparation).
  • Engage in gaining research skills and knowledge through work experience.
  • Other accountabilities as assigned.

Education & Experience

  • Undergraduate student in University with science background.
  • Interest in plant sciences.

Skills

  • Highly motivated with the proven ability to be self directed;
  • Demonstrated ability work effectively in a team-based environment is critical;
  • Effective organizational skills and the acumen to handle and manage projects with competing deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to establish and maintain professional relationships;
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse working environment; and
  • Proficiency with basic computer skills.

Interested parties can apply here.

The Department of Plant Sciences along with the Crop Development Centre is now accepting applications for summer employment for the 2023 growing season.

Submit the application below and in a separate email attach a current resume listing education, employment history, and names and contact information of three references and an unofficial transcript from PAWS or your educational institution to General Office-Plant Sciences

A summer research position is being sought in the area of food chemistry, done in collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Department of Plant Sciences though the Genome Canada funded EVOLVES project. This position will support leading-edge research in the area of pulse breeding and ingredient utilization.

Job description and duties

Under the direct supervision of Research Staff, the student’s responsibilities will include:

1) Analysis of amino acid data using MS Excel to select suitable seed samples for further chemical analysis

2) Assessing levels of S-S bonding and free sulfhydryl groups of selected seed samples

3) Generating data for heat induced gelation of whole lentil flour

4) Some general biochemical analyses, based on the candidates’ experience and skillset

Qualifications

Must be eligible to work on campus at the University of Saskatchewan. Must be comfortable with repetitive and precise work in the lab environment. Successful candidates should have a good working knowledge of computers (both desktop and tablet) and software such as MS Excel and Word. The successful candidate must be willing to work flexible hours when required and travel within Saskatchewan. Must have or be willing to obtain WHMIS training. This position requires attention to detail, an ability to work independently and the ability to contribute to a dynamic team environment. Candidates must possess very good oral and written communication skills in the English language. All training will be provided to the candidate.

Term

This job will run from May through to the end of August 2022 (18 weeks). Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Submit your CV and cover letter to: Laura Jardine (email: laura.jardine@usask.ca).