Assistant Professor of Forest Genetics/Genomics

Hiring Organization: Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Position description

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a 9-month tenure-system position at the Assistant Professor rank in Forest Genetics/Genomics (50% research, 25% teaching, 25% extension); the position offers potential joint affiliation with cross-departmental institutes/centers (e.g., Plant Resilience Institute) and graduate training programs (e.g., Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Program). We seek an outstanding scientist to conduct research in tree or forest genetics/genomics, with a view toward improving forest health, productivity and resilience under multiple environmental changes. Globally, trees and forests face intense pressures from increasing pest and pathogen attack, more intense droughts, higher temperatures, fragmentation, deforestation, and environmental pollutants, while demands for forest ecosystem services increase (e.g., biomaterials, climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation, recreation, habitat). We seek applicants who can address these challenges by leveraging genetic/genomic approaches to enhance, for example: resistance of tree species to insect pests and pathogens; growth, yield, and resistance in commercial species; and genetically-informed assisted migration of tree species to mitigate climate change impacts. This position is financially supported, in part, by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) through the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management ( and the successful candidate is expected to conduct applied research and extension relevant to the MDNR and other stakeholders. A responsibility of this position is oversight of the MDNR supported Michigan Cooperative Tree Improvement Program, including the ongoing genetic improvement and seed orchard establishment of red and jack pine. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an internationally-recognized research, teaching and extension program by securing competitive external research/extension funding, publishing in leading peer-reviewed journals, and advancing our understanding of forest genetics/genomics. Teaching responsibilities are an annual undergraduate course and a biennial graduate course. Extension responsibilities include stakeholder-engaged research and outreach with Michigan DNR forest managers, other partners and end users. Responsibilities also include recruiting and training graduate students, undergraduate mentoring, and Department, College, University, and professional service.

Required qualifications

An earned Ph.D. in Forest Genomics, Genetics, or related field. Applicants should have a record of or demonstrated ability for scholarly activities including peer-reviewed journal articles. Applicants also should have a demonstrated interest in teaching, outreach/extension, and enhancing equality and inclusivity in the field.


The position will be based at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, MI, USA.  Formally established in 1902, MSU’s Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally-recognized unit committed to interdisciplinary education, research and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues. The Department of Forestry has more than 60 years of history in forest genetics and tree improvement research involving over 80 species and 500 plantings and maintains genetic trials at various locations throughout the state. Michigan State University has strong plant science focus (160+ faculty) of international stature, including the potential for faculty membership in interdepartmental centers (e.g., Plant Resilience Institute,

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at  Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

To Apply

For consideration, submit your application online at to job number 735297. Upload the following required documents: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) statement of research experience and future direction (2 page max), 4) statement of teaching experience and philosophy (2 page max), 5) a summary of your experience with diversity in teaching and/or research and an explanation of how you will contribute to our goals of inclusive excellence (2 page max), and 6) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number).  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline

Review of applications will begin October 15, 2021, and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.  Inquires to Dr. Michael Walters, Chairperson, Forest Genomics & Environmental Change Search Committee, by email (preferred) of by phone at (989) 640-1363.


MSU is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions.  Learn more at

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.