Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Plant-pollinator Interactions

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

A postdoctoral research opportunity in entomology is available with the the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Sunflower and Plant Biology Research Unit (SPBRU) in Fargo, North Dakota, focused on plant-pollinator interactions in wild and cultivated Asteraceae, including sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) and Silphium spp.

Many plant species, including sunflowers and Silphium spp., have genetic or mechanical self-incompatibility and require pollinators to move pollen in order to develop seeds. Prior work in sunflowers shows specific plant traits (e.g., nectar quantity and accessibility) can strongly influence bee visitation to inbred lines.

The successful applicant will participate in research projects based on his or her prior experience, including (but not limited to) modeling pollinator responses to specific plant traits and investigating the (plant or insect) genetic basis of pollinator preference. Lab and field activities will include collecting plant and insect samples from the field, physical or chemical analyses of collected samples, and summarization of collected data.

In the mentor’s laboratory, the successful applicant will learn about ongoing efforts to breed pollinator-friendly plants as part of a multidisciplinary team. Additional opportunities to learn techniques in conservation genetics and insect physiology will be available through ongoing collaborations with researchers at North Dakota State University and the USDA-ARS Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research Unit. Additional professional development opportunities include travel for research and to present research results in local, regional and national meetings.

The appointment is full-time for approximately 12 months, with an anticipated start date of June 1, 2018, and may be renewed based upon recommendation of the ARS and availability of funding. The selected applicant will receive a yearly stipend in the amount of $48,000 as support for their living and other expenses during this appointment. The participant will also receive a health insurance stipend supplement to offset the total or partial cost of health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, USDA, ARS, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with ARS, this position requires a pre-appointment check and a full background investigation.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

For more information about the ARS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.

To be eligible, applicants must have received a Ph.D. in entomology, biology or a closely-related field.

The ability to summarize research in writing, experience with plant-insect interactions, pollinator rearing or identification, and molecular or quantitative genetics are desirable.

Eligibility Requirements
Degree: Currently pursuing a Doctoral degree or have received this degree.
∙Life Health and Medical Sciences
∙Biology (General)
∙Genetics, Animal and Plant
∙Plant Sciences
∙Zoology (General)
∙Veteran Status: None

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