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Research Opportunity Description

Entomologist/Chemical Ecologist Postdoctoral Research
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Miami, FL


Project Description:

An Entomologist/Chemical Ecologist postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami, Florida.  Research will encompass studies on insect chemical ecology, using a combination of chemical analysis, behavioral bioassays, field tests to identify new and/or improved semiochemical attractants for detection and control of invasive insect pests. The primary research responsibility will be isolation and identification of biologically active semiochemicals from host plant material, especially those that will lead to the development of female attractants for the redbay ambrosia beetle, although research may include attractants for tephritid and drosophilid fruit flies, or other insects. The research includes design and execution of research experiments; collection and identification of active semiochemicals through use of gas chromatography (GC and GC-MS); electroantennagraphy (EAG, GC-EAD); laboratory behavioral bioassays and field tests.  Experience in analytical chemical techniques such as GC and SPME is particularly desirable.  Results will be documented as scientific papers for publication in refereed journals.


To be eligible, applicants must have received a doctorate degree in Entomology, Ecology, Biology, Chemistry or a related discipline in the biological or physical sciences within five years of the desired starting date. Experience in gas chromatography (GC), and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) as related to semiochemicals and/or working knowledge of electroantennagraphy, insect behavioral bioassays and field trials of true fruit flies, beetles and moths, is desirable. 

Preferred skills include:

  • Laboratory analytical skills, including gas chromotography, mass spectrometry
  • Experience with insect behavioral bioassays (wind tunnels, olfactometers) and electroantennagraphy
  • Experience with field tests, experimental design, statistical analysis
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals

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

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) and foreign nationals.

This is an equal opportunity program open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

Additional Information:

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of the ARS and availability of funding. The annual stipend rate for this position is $50,706. A stipend supplement in the amount of $5,160 is provided to cover the cost of an individual or family health insurance plan. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health insurance may be obtained through ORISE. Relocation expenses in the amount of $2,000 will be reimbursed, with prior approval. A travel allowance in the amount of $3,000 is available to reimburse travel-related expenses to scientific and professional development activities. The participant does not become an employee of the ARS or ORISE.

For additional information about the ARS Postdoctoral Research Program, please visit

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project #ARS-SHRS-2014-0023 in your application and when calling or writing for information.