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PhD Position in Food Safety (Irrigation Water Food Safety)

PhD Position in Food Safety (Irrigation Water Food Safety)

Position Description

The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (HLA) at Colorado State University and specifically, Dr. Eduardo Gutierrez Rodriguez fresh produce safety research group, has a PhD position in food safety with an emphasis on irrigation water safety, irrigation treatments, microbiomes, and environmental impacts of sanitizers on soil health. The position is available starting August 1st, 2021 (summer to fall semester). The position will be located at the Colorado State University main campus in Fort Collins. The successful candidate will participate in a collaborative project and execute basic and applied research on the role of sanitizers, irrigation water treatments, inactivation of enteric pathogens from irrigation water and the impact of those treatments on soil health and plant productivity. The project includes lab, greenhouse, and field trials with corresponding travel to farms for sample collection and application of treatments. Through this project, the candidate will acquire strong technical expertise in advanced microbiology including molecular biology techniques, use and management of irrigation systems, sanitizers, and irrigation water field equipment, growing of horticultural crops and microbiome analysis. The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to participate in future training opportunities, direct contact with members of the sanitizer and fresh produce industry and development of professional and personal skills, including project management, mentorship, technical writing, and science communication.


Applicants must hold a thesis-based M.Sc. degree with a strong background either in microbiology, horticulture, molecular biology, microbiomes, or similar fields, and demonstrate strong technical skills in general and molecular microbiology, such as PCR, post-PCR analysis, and sequence analysis. Practical experience in horticulture, management of enteric pathogens, microbiome data analysis is highly desired. We recognize the potential candidates for this position may not completely match with the advertised position needs; however, we encourage students with diverse backgrounds within the suggested fields to apply to this position. Colorado State University, HLA and the research group support and foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace and encourage any individual with a strong record of research productivity and relevant experience to apply.

Application process

Please submit the following documents for an initial evaluation to (Dr. GutierrezRodriguez).

  1. Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications/presentations.
  2. Unofficial transcripts.
  3. Statement of research experience and goals (2-page max, single space, font 11-12 Arial or Calibri, 1” Margins.
  4. List of 3 references (email, phone number and role of the reference).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the candidate is selected. After selection, the candidate must also apply to the Ph.D. program in the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University to complete the entire process. The position will begin once the selected candidate is accepted into the graduate program. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Full time employment through summertime is available if needed.

The application process follows the CSU and HLA requirements and guidelines listed here:

Contact information for any inquiry

Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Food Safety, Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, e-mail:

Equal employment opportunity statement

Colorado State University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information, and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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