Faculty/Staff positions

Research/Graduate Student positions

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.

Area: Metatranscriptomics of Sulfur Oxidizing Bacterial Consortia in Soil

A Master’s of Science position is available immediately for work on a project focusing on microbial sulfur oxidation processes for enhanced sulfur uptake by plants. Sulfur deficiency in soil is becoming increasingly common in Canadian prairie regions, and oilseeds, and particularly canola, have a higher S-requirement than cereal crops. The commercial demand for canola, along with increasing crop yields, causes a further depletion of bioavailable sulfur in these regions. Chemical oxidation of elemental sulfur into a plant-available form (SO42-) occurs slowly, thus S-limited soils may require direct application of sulfate fertilizers in order to maximize yields. Microorganisms that promote sulfur fertilizer oxidation through the various oxidation states to sulfate accordingly have potential biotechnical application in agronomic systems, and are the focus of this degree opportunity.

Accordingly, the successful candidate will employ transcriptomic/metatranscriptomic molecular techniques, in concert with chemical sulfur oxidation assays, to delineate sulfur oxidation pathways/potential of organisms of commercial importance. Application and use of bioinformatics tools and algorithms, as well as experience working with model systems, will be an asset. Applicants will be considered that ideally: have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in microbiology/geomicrobiology along with hands-on experience in biotechnology and molecular techniques, possess a strong interest in microbial ecology, have excellent oral and written communications skills, have a publication record, and are eligible and competitive for national and regional scholarship support. Working in close-collaboration with the industrial sponsor, the student will gain industrially-relevant theoretical knowledge and hands-on expertise for employment in the rapidly-evolving field of biologics, and particular, for microbially-enhanced plant growth promotion.   

Funding for this opportunity is provided by Lallemand Plant Care in conjunction with NSERC-CRD, and will be housed at the University of Saskatchewan (Dr. Darren Korber). Stipend support is $18,000/yr over 3 years.

How to Apply: Send your Curriculum vitae, transcripts, recent publications, and a covering letter stating how your background and qualifications match the position to:

Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences
University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Drive, 4E16
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 5A8
Attn: Dr. Darren Korber

For Further Information contact Dr. Darren Korber at Darren Korber (ph. 306-966-7786)

Undergraduate Student and Summer term employment

A new and exciting program that trains and inspires teams of hopeful University of Saskatchewan (USask) student entrepreneurs with support from experts and mentors and, with a real technology, to explore a new business opportunity.

Each summer the department and the CDC will hire up to 60 University of Saskatchewan or other post-secondary students for various summer positions in either laboratory or field settings. 

Qualifications: University of Saskatchewan or other post-secondary students planning to attend classes in September. 

Requirements: Minimum one year of post secondary education.  Preference may be given to students with an agricultural background but it is not necessary.  The ability to do manual labor, ability to work as directed and to practice safe work habits and posession of a valid drivers license would be beneficial.

2 ways to apply:

  1. Print and fill in the summer student application form and email along with a current resume and unoffical transcript to: Plant Sciences Main Office
    PLSC summer student application form
  2. Fill in the on-line application form and submit to the main office.  In a separate email, send a current resume and unoffical transcript to: Plant Sciences Main Office
    PLSC On-line summer student application form