Associate Professor – Controlled Environments Entomologist

Associate Professor – Controlled Environments Entomologist

Job Description
The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Dallas, is seeking a motivated and visionary Urban Ag and Controlled Environment Entomologist at the assistant professor level. The appointment is a 75% effort with AgriLife Research and 25% with AgriLife Extension and is a 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 fruit and vegetable plants grown in controlled environments (greenhouses, indoor vertical farms and other forms of protected cultivation). The candidate will address the 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 the Research and Extension team tasked with providing entomological knowledge and techniques to advance the urban CEA industry in Texas and beyond. The incumbent is expected to attract undisclosed funding, establish a strong research publication record, and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, particularly students from underrepresented groups. Participation in professional development efforts at the 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 managed environment horticulture and assist in the training of County Extension Agents and county educational programming. The candidate is expected to develop novel pest management systems for urban managed environments that provide high-quality crop yields throughout the year at an affordable cost to offer the best IPM solutions to the challenges faced by crop production in managed environments. The program is intended to increase the income of horticulture enterprises, reduce enterprise risks, minimize pest control costs and increase food safety.

The candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists with complementary expertise in horticulture, agronomy, artificial intelligence robotics, plant physiology, breeding, pathology, agronomy and aquatic sciences. The candidate will be encouraged to collaborate with other AgriLife Research Scientists and Extension Specialists at centers across the state and interact with academic departments at various campuses of the Texas A&M University System.

Responsibilities

  • Conducting fundamental and applied research in the fields of insect physiology, plant-insect-environment interactions, insect biology and methods of controlling pests affecting fruits and vegetables in a controlled environment.
  • Develop sustainable and innovative IPM strategies to address arthropod pest management issues related to the controlled environment and pest management industries.
  • Provide leadership and team building with multidisciplinary Research Scientists, Extension Specialists and IPM Agents to address key urban agriculture issues affecting crop production in a controlled environment.
  • Develop and/or lead research teams to respond to internal and external research grant opportunities involving research faculty from AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension as well as other research institutions.
  • Develop research-based extension programs that primarily target urban residents engaged in indoor urban agriculture.
  • Promote IPM tactics and public education to ensure safe, sustainable, affordable, nutritious, and high-quality fruits and vegetables for the citizens of Texas.
  • Collaborate/complete global programs involving Center faculty and other district-based County Extension Agents, Regional Program Directors, and other Specialists to develop and deliver regionally and nationally recognized programs for Extension and Research faculty, CEA industry, and general clients .

Qualifications

Is required

  • Education – PhD or equivalent doctoral terminal degree in entomology, biology, zoology or related disciplines
  • Experience – Broad knowledge of arthropod biology, plant-insect interactions, insect feeding behavior and pest management issues in fruits and vegetables in controlled environments.
  • Proof of peer-reviewed publication date.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Evidence to engage with stakeholder groups, identify critical issues and act on these needs through research activities that provide solutions to the issues

Preference is given

  • Postdoctoral experience
  • Extensive experience in insect biology and pest management for controlled environments, with a focus on fruits and vegetables
  • Experience in chemical and biological control methods against arthropod pests
  • Experience or knowledge of using sensors to detect insect signals
  • Demonstrated success or potential in grant writing to support their research.
  • Participation in professional societies.

The Dallas AgriLife Research and Extension Center is committed to improving and promoting healthy food systems and quality of life in urban communities and providing solutions to current and emerging challenges in Urban Ag through basic and applied research. The main objectives of the Urban Agriculture program are: to develop climate-resilient, safe and resource-efficient crops for the growing urban population; increasing the 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 social well-being by addressing food deserts and food insecurity. The Center is committed to diversity and inclusion and expects the successful candidate to contribute to this vision and commitment.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of Entomology based in College Station and will be expected to train graduate students in the discipline as a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Location

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

Texas A&M AgriLife

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

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides local and statewide programs, tools and resources that teach people about 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.

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

The application must contain the following:

  • cover letter,
  • Research statement for the position (2 page limit),
  • Statement of tenure extension (2 page limit),
  • Diversity and Inclusion Statement for Position (1 page limit),
  • A current CV or curriculum vitae, and
  • Contact information for three references

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

Questions?

Contact the Search Committee Chair:

Daniel I. Leskovar, Ph.D.

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

Business: 830-988-6124

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