P2IRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Modeling & Simulation of Plant Biomechanics and Development

We are searching for a bright and enthusiastic individual to join our team as a postdoctoral fellow in the area of modelling & simulation of plants and crops. This is part of the the "Mechanistic Modeling of Plant Development for Plant Phenomics" theme of the P2IRC P2IRC project. Specifically, the role will involve modeling, simulation of plants, and creating hybrid models incorporating biomechanical models. The ideal candidate will have strong computer programming skills and a keen interest in computer graphics, modeling, and bioinformatics and computational biology. The position will be co-supervised by Drs. Ian Stavness and Ian McQuillan in the computer science department at the University of Saskatchewan and involve collaboration with researchers at the University of Calgary (http://algorithmicbotany.org/).

The "Mechanistic Modeling of Plant Development for Plant Phenomics" theme in P2IRC consists of an interdisciplinary and collaborative team consisting of seven faculty and their graduate students. The team is led by Drs. Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz and Ian McQuillan. More information is available at https://www.cs.usask.ca/research/phenotyping-centre/.


The Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre (P2IRC) is an agricultural research centre managed by the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) and located at the University of Saskatchewan. P2IRC was established thanks to funding awarded to the University of Saskatchewan by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund award, Designing Crops for Global Food Security.
GIFS (www.gifs.ca) was founded in 2012 to perform research that will help deliver transformative innovation to agriculture in both the developed and the developing world. Research at GIFS can be divided into three pillars; seed and developmental biology, root-soil-microbial interactions, and digital and computational agriculture. The latter pillar is occupied by P2IRC.
P2IRCís seven-year transdisciplinary program will transform crop breeding through research in phenometrics, image acquisition technologies, computational informatics of crop phenotype data, and societal and developing world impact. P2IRC (http://p2irc.usask.ca/) is a major research centre with partners located on campus, across Canada, and internationally.


Education: Relevant post-graduate training (Ph.D. or previous PDF) in computer science, computational biology, computer graphics, simulation, bioinformatics or a related discipline. PhD must have been awarded within five years immediately preceding the appointment.

Experience: Previous experience with one or more of the following is required: physics-based simulation / finite-element simulation, 3D modeling and simulation, machine-learning methods in a bioinformatics context.

Specific Accountabilities:

  • Incorporate and combine models of tissue biomechanics (http://www.artisynth.org) into simulations of plant growth and development (http://algorithmicbotany.org/virtual_laboratory)
  • Contribute to the modeling of the genotype-to-phenotype mapping by using mechanistic model-based approaches
  • Contribute to the modeling of roots
  • Help foster collaboration with other themes of the P2IRC project, such as those working on image processing, machine learning, and also those establishing bioinformatics linkages between phenotype and genotype


  • Research motivation, good command of English, and excellent communication
  • Excellent programming skills and ability to rapidly understand different modeling algorithms; experience contributing to large software platforms is a plus
  • Familiarity with data repositories of genomic and phenotypic information
  • Knowledge of C++, Java, and Python

Salary Information:
The salary offered will be in the range of $45,000-55,000 CAD, and will be based on training, education, and experience.

This term position will be for up to three years, commencing as soon as possible. Annual re-appointment will be dependent upon satisfactory performance, immigration status (if applicable) and the availability of funding.

Application Procedure:
(1) Send an email a cover letter indicating their interest and experience, a CV, and transcripts from university degrees to plant_modeling_position@cs.usask.ca
(2) Complete a short online application form: https://goo.gl/forms/6pDscyUWT3rqgFDD2
Inquiries regarding the position can be directed to Dr. Ian Stavness (ian.stavness@usask.ca) or Dr. Ian McQuillan (mcquillan@cs.usask.ca).

Applications will begin to be reviewed May 8, 2017, and continue until a suitable candidate is found. We appreciate all expressions of interest; however, only those candidates whose backgrounds best suit our requirements will be contacted. All application materials will be treated confidentially.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.