University of Florida

Current positions available at the University of Florida

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The selection process will be conducted in accord with the provisions of Florida’s ‘Government in the Sunshine’ and Public Records Laws. Search committee meetings and interviews will be open to the public, and applications, resumes, and many other documents related to the search will be available for public inspection. Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
18905 SW 280th St
IFAS, Horticultural Sciences    
Homestead, FL 33031-3314

PhD Assistantship Available January 2018 – Passionfruit breeding

Passionfruit (Passiflora spp.) production in southern Florida is worth $1.1-1.5M annually and is poised to expand, but is hindered by the lack of a formal germplasm trialing and improvement program. Passiflora species are valued for their aromatic, tropical fruits and beautiful flowers. The Florida passionfruit industry is primarily composed of ‘Possum Purple’, a hybrid between purple (Passiflora edulis f. edulis) and yellow (P. edulis f. flavicarpa) passionfruit types. This hybrid produces fruit with acceptable quality, but vines die from soil-borne pathogens anywhere from 3 months to 3 years after planting. Thus, most vines die too early to realize their full economic potential, and this leads to increased grower costs. In contrast, international commercial plantings can maintain productivity for 6-7 years before plant decline. Still, domestic production is favored due to increased air shipping costs and import restrictions on most passionfruit-producing countries. Further, while there is great potential for domestic passionfruit production, systematic breeding using modern phenotyping and genotyping methods is lacking in general. This proposal seeks to establish a modern passionfruit breeding program that is capable of responding to current and future industry needs and challenges both domestic and international.  This position will provide broad horticultural and applied plant breeding training.  Close interaction with growers will be expected.  Stipend is $22,000 per year and includes tuition, fees and research budget for four years pending satisfactory job performance evaluations.  This position is located at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Florida, USA.  Please contact Dr. Alan H. Chambers with brief cover letter and CV if interested.