Careers at UMass Amherst

Post Doctoral Research Associate - Beneficial Insects Lab

Apply now Job no: 514664
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Environmental Conservation
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Conduct research on biological control of the emerald ash borer with a focus on population dynamics of both the target pests and introduced parasitoids.  Research will occur both in a laboratory and in forests across the U.S and involves modeling both spatial and temporal dynamics of north American ash recovery in relation to levels of EAB infestations or densities due to the impact of both introduced and endemic natural enemies in various climatic/geographic regions in North America.


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Conduct both laboratory and field experiments to assess and predict the establishment and potential impacts of introduced biocontrol agents (parasitoids) on the population dynamic of emerald ash borer as well as consequences in ash recovery and regeneration in Northern and Midwestern U.S.
  • Develop ecological and population dynamic models to describe the spatial and temporal interactions of introduced natural enemies and their target pest (EAB) as well as surviving ash trees in various climatic scenarios (or geographic ranges).
  • Work with a team of dedicated cooperators from USDA APHIS/FS and several Universities for development of novel remote sampling technologies and algorithms for detection of EAB, its parasitoids, and ash conditions.
  • Set up and oversee all duties related to carrying out the laboratory and field experiments on emerald ash borer and its parasitoids.
  • Record and monitor testing results over time and maintain and create spreadsheets for data entry.
  • Conduct data analysis and write up research reports for grant agencies and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Ph.D. in ecology, entomology, and/or related biological science.
  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Experience in the use of database and statistical software (e.g., JMP, SAS, R) and general aptitude using a computer.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience in ecological modeling or forest ecology and management.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Remote sensing technologies and algorithms.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Field work may occur any time of year in either heat or cold, there may be biting insects, and the terrain may be uneven. The employee will be responsible for ensuring that all equipment necessary for field work is available and well maintained.
  • Capable of carrying at least 20 pounds for approximately 0.5 miles.


Additional Details

  • For the farm bill program (USDA), no foreign nationals are qualified for the position.
  • This position will be based at the Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit (USDA, ARS) in Newark, Delaware 19713.


Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Flexible schedule, 100% FTE.


Salary Information

Salary will commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search may remain open until filled.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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