Job Description

Job Summary

Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

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.

The Imaging and Sorting Lab is part of the Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research Unit. The mission is to develop methods to detect and remove defective, contaminated or otherwise undesirable product from agricultural project streams.  These sorting devices will improve the quality of fresh or packaged foods, remove unwanted transmission of materials deleterious to agriculture or health and/or improve the competitive position of U.S. project in international trade. Such sorters will be in support of U.S. government action agencies and the U.S. food industry.



Major Duties:  

The major objective of this research project is to investigate the feasibility of NIR spectroscopy as a basis for detection and removal of potatoes affected by “Zebra Chip” disease, a physiological disorder that results in discoloration of the potato during frying. Other objectives may include using NIR spectroscopy to detect mold damage in tree nuts. Major duties will include preparing samples for NIR spectroscopy, acquiring NIR spectra using spectrometers, analyzing NIR spectra, developing classification algorithms, and preparing manuscripts and presentations.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Less than once a month

Relocation Authorized

  • No