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Job ID: 152479

Research Associate (Phragmites die-back)
LSU AgCenter

Date Posted Jan. 6, 2021
Title Research Associate (Phragmites die-back)
University LSU AgCenter
Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Department Entomology Department
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Entomology
    Agricultural - General

Research Associate on Phragmites die-back

(This is a grant-funded, non-tenure track position. Funding must be available for any continuation of appointment.)

WORK LOCATION: Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The die-back of Phragmites at the Bird’s Foot Delta of the Mississippi River (MRD), Louisiana has been associated with outbreaks of an exotic scale Nipponaclerda biwakoensis (Hemiptera: Aclerdidae). Because of the importance of Phragmites for the ecology of coastal Louisiana, state and federal agencies have joined forces to understand the impacts of this scale. Funding is available for a research associate in the area of insect-plant interactions. The objectives of this project are to monitor Phragmites research plots at the MRD, and conduct greenhouse experiments to understand the interaction among rhizome size, plant variety and scales. Since two thirds of the biomass on Phragmites is on the rhizomes, there is a great opportunity to establish manipulative experiments to understand the yearly variation in plant vigor observed at the MRD. Field trips will include a full crew for assistance and opportunities to visit amazing freshwater wetlands. The successful candidate will work closely with the biologists from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and scientists from Universities and the United States Department of Agriculture-APHIS.

Opportunities for career development related to this position might include:
- Networking: Direct interaction with a diverse team of scientists from several institutions.
- Skills: Hands on experience on drone mapping and image processing, collection and characterization of plant volatiles, assessment of host plant resistance, molecular characterization of microbial communities, field experiments of wetland restoration, among others.
- Mentorship: Direct interaction with undergraduate and graduate students, and research associates.
- Project management: Preparation of reports, and allocation of budgets and research effort.

The associate will be expected to design and implement experiments, and publish results in peer-reviewed entomological and ecological journals. For more information about the Phragmites die-back project please visit; and Diaz Lab,

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: Degree in Entomology or related discipline including Ecology or Botany. Experience working with aquatic habitats and insect herbivores is preferred.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. The LSU AgCenter has an attractive benefits package with a wide variety of benefit options. Benefits offered include retirement, multiple medical insurance options, supplemental insurances (dental, life, long-term disability, accident, vision, long-term care, etc.), Tax Saver Flexible Benefits Plan (saves tax dollars on some child care and medical expenses), university holidays (14 per year, typically includes a week off at Christmas), generous annual (vacation) and sick leave benefits, Employee Assistance Program, and possible educational leave and tuition exemption for coursework at campuses of the LSU System. Specific benefits depend on job category, percent effort and length of employment.

DATE AVAILABLE: Upon completion of selection process.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 15, 2021 or until a suitable candidate is identified.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Apply online at (or through Workday for internal applicants) by attaching cover letter with resume, transcripts, curriculum vitae and contact information for three references. (Paper, faxed or e-mailed application materials will not be accepted.)

For more information please contact:

Dr. Rodrigo Diaz
Louisiana State University
Department of Entomology
404 Life Sciences Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: (225) 578-1835
Email (preferred):

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