Mark BernardsWestern Science

Prospective Students

Graduate Student Positions Available: Ginseng Replant Project


I have two graduate student positions (MSc or PhD) available for either January 1, 2019 or May 1, 2019 as start dates, to contribute to our research on the causes of ginseng replant disease. Candidates should have a background in plant biology, agriculture and/or analytical chemistry. Knowledge of, and experience working with natural products would be an asset.

Project 1. Determine the impact of soil solarization treatment on the soil microbiome and ginsenosides in recently harvested ginseng gardens.

This project tests the hypothesis that soil solarization alters the persistence of ginsenosides in soils and/or reduces the populations and/or diversity of ginseng replant disease-associated microorganisms. The project will include field work in association with OMAFRA and the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association, conducting field trials to assess the impact of soil solarization on mitigating ginseng replant disease.

Project 2. Establishing Ginsenoside Breakdown Products

This project will monitor ginsenoside content changes under controlled conditions in pot-grown ginseng using a Root Exudate Trapping System (RETS) to collect root exudates. The RETS allows for the collection of organic compounds (including ginsenosides) that move within the soil under the influence of free water flow. The results from this work will be applied to the identity of ginsenoside break-down products in field soil, and provide metabolomic-level analysis of soil and litter extracts.

If you are interested in pursuing either of these positions, send your CV and transcripts directly to Dr. Mark A. Bernards.