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Assistant Professor - Controlled Environments Entomologist

 

 

 

 

Position Description
Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Dallas is seeking a motivated and visionary Urban Ag and Controlled Environment Entomologist at the Assistant Professor level. Appointment is 75% effort with AgriLife Research and 25% with AgriLife Extension and is 12-month, base-funded position. The successful candidate will establish and lead a national and international research and Extension program leading to integrated management of invasive and arthropod attacking fruits and vegetable crops grown in controlled environment (greenhouses, indoor vertical farms, and other forms of protected cultivation). The candidate will address knowledge gaps and needs of the Urban Horticulture industry to provide economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable vegetable and fruit production solutions.

This position will be a critical part of a Research and Extension team that is charged with providing the entomological knowledge and techniques to enhance the urban CEA industry in Texas and beyond. The incumbent will be expected to attract extramural funding, establish a strong research publication record, mentor undergraduate and graduate students, particularly for students from under-represented groups. Participation in professional development efforts at an appropriate level of service to the center, agency, institution, and/or professional societies is expected. This position will also provide statewide Research and Extension leadership in controlled environment horticulture and assist in training County Extension Agents and in county educational programming. The candidate is expected to develop novel pest management systems for urban controlled environment that provide year-round high quality plant products at a cost-effective price, to offer best IPM solutions to challenges faced by crop production in controlled environment. The program is expected to maximize returns of horticultural enterprises, reduce enterprise risks, minimize costs of pest control, and increase food safety.

The candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary team comprised of scientists with complementary expertise in horticulture, ag engineering, AI-robotics, plant physiology, breeding, pathology, agronomy, and water science. The candidate will be encouraged to collaborate with other AgriLife Research Scientists and Extension Specialists at centers around the State, and to interact with academic departments on the various Texas A&M University System campuses.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct foundational and applied research in the areas of insect physiology, plant-insect-environment interactions, insect biology and control methods of pests affecting fruits and vegetables in controlled environment.
  • Develop sustainable and innovative IPM strategies to address arthropod pest management issues relevant to controlled environment and pest management industries.
  • Provide leadership and team building with multi-disciplinary Research Scientists, Extension Specialists, and IPM Agents to address key urban agricultural issues affecting controlled environment crop production.
  • Develop and/or lead research teams to respond to internal and external research grant opportunities with the involvement of research faculty from AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension, as well as other research institutions.
  • Develop research driven Extension programs targeting primarily urban residents engaged in enclosed urban agriculture.
  • Develop IPM tactics and education to the public, enabling safe, sustainable, affordable, nutritious, and high-quality fruits and vegetables for the citizens of Texas.
  • Cooperate/complement statewide programs that involve Center faculty and other District based County Extension Agents, Regional Program Leaders, and other Specialists, in order to develop and deliver regionally and nationally recognized programs for Extension and Research faculty, the CEA industry and general clientele.

Qualifications

Required

  • Education – PhD or equivalent doctoral terminal degree in entomology, biology, zoology, or related discipline
  • Experience – Extensive knowledge of arthropod biology, plant-insect interactions, insect feeding behavior and pest management issues in fruits and vegetables in controlled environments.
  • Evidence of peer‐reviewed publication history.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Evidence to engage with stakeholder groups, identify critical issues, and act on those needs through research activities that bring resolution to problems

Preferred

  • Postdoctoral experience
  • Extensive experience of insect biology and pest management for controlled environments with emphasis on fruits and vegetables
  • Expertise in chemical and biological control methods of arthropod pests
  • Expertise or knowledge on the use of sensors for detection of insect signals
  • Demonstrated success or potential in grant writing for support of their research.
  • Participation in professional societies.

The Dallas AgriLife Research and Extension Center is committed to improve and promote healthy food systems and the quality of life in urban communities and to provide solutions to current and emerging problems in Urban Ag through basic and applied research. The main objectives in the Urban Agriculture program are to: develop climate resilient, safe, and resource-use-efficient crops for the growing urban population; increase production efficiency of controlled environments; accelerate crop genetic improvement through automated high-throughput phenotyping and genomics-assisted breeding; and strengthen the Urban Ag economy and the social well-being, by addressing food deserts and food insecurity. The center is committed to diversity and inclusion and expect the successful candidate to contribute to that vision and commitment.

The successful candidate would become a member of the Department of Entomology located in College Station and expected to train graduate students in the discipline as a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Location

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas, Texas

Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is the leading research and technology development agency in Texas for agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences. Our discoveries yield economic, environmental, and health benefits that are key to our state’s success and vital to the lives of its citizens. With 13 Research and Extension Centers throughout the state, AgriLife Research is dedicated to research that improves the Texas economy and lives of local and state-wide stakeholders through research encompassing the Agriculture and Food Value Chain.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides programs, tools and resources on a local and statewide level that teach people improved agriculture and food production, advanced health practices, environmental protection, economic and youth programs. Health and wellness programs focus on diabetes education, nutrition, exercise, food safety, child safety and injury prevention, and early cancer detection.

Applicant Instructions Apply at: https://tamus.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/AgriLife_Research_External/details/Assistant-Professor---Controlled-Environments-Entomologist_R-056343 

Application should contain:

  • A cover letter,
  • A statement of research for the position (2-page limit),
  • A statement of extension for the position (2-page limit),
  • A statement of diversity and inclusion for the position (1-page limit),
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae, and
  • Contact information for three references

Review of applications will begin February 1, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

Questions?

Address inquiries to Search Committee Chair:

Daniel I. Leskovar, Ph.D.

Professor & Center Director at Uvalde and Dallas Research & Extension Centers E-mail: d-leskovar@tamu.edu 

Work: 830-988-6124


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