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Agricultural Research Service Research Biologist (Computational) (Research Associate) in Charleston, South Carolina


The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the United States Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency and one of the world's premiere scientific organizations. ARS Postdoctoral Research Associates are hired to supplement a lead scientist's research on agricultural problems of high national priority affecting American agriculture. This position is located in US Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina. ANNOUNCEMENT IS OPEN UNTIL FILLED OR April 12, 2021.


Coordinate development of data pipeline for high-throughput plant phenotyping and image analyses that will enhance specialty crop breeding programs at the lab.

Develop image analysis and machine learning algorithms to facilitate the quantification of plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Develop data management protocols and systems that are capable of handling large volumes and different varieties of data.

Work with software development team to help develop graphical user interface (GUI) and standard application programming interface (API) for these systems.

Operations of various imaging systems and platforms, such a RGB, hyperspectral, and microscope based.

Provide technical support, guidance, and training in image analysis and machine learning to USVL researchers.

Lead implementation of application of novel machine learning methodologies in plant phenotyping for vegetable crops at the lab in collaboration with Breeding Insight. Breeding insight is funded by the USDA, ARS through Cornell University.


Conditions of Employment


This position requires a recent Ph.D in Biological Sciences, Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Chemistry or a related field of study that has equipped the applicant with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position. Applicants must meet basic Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standard's requirements of the scientific discipline necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position. Specialized Experience:

Knowledge and experience in multiple programming languages and platforms (e.g Python, C/C++. Fortran, Matlab, PlantCV, ImageJ, R). Familiarity with processing and analyzing RGB and hyperspectral imagery. Strong knowledge and experience in data management, specifically in the database, applications, complex web applications, and storage technologies. Familiarity and experience of applying statistical models to image processing.


This position has a positive education requirement. You must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify education when applying for this position. If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty. Application materials will not be returned. A Ph.D. is required that was obtained within the last four years

Additional Information

Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.