This full-time professional position has a 60% research, 40% Extension split. The person in this position will be supervised by the Chair of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. The individual selected for this position will provide annual evaluations of the research and Extension activities.
Research activities may include but are not limited to contributions to manuscripts, presentations, and grants as appropriate; produce technical reports; assist researchers and their students with more technical identifications, and to file voucher specimens in arthropod collections of the Auburn University Natural History Museum.
The position will be a component of the Plant Diagnostic Clinic and will provide insect diagnostic services to support the Extension outreach mission. Daily responsibilities will be to process samples and conduct digital identification (via email) of insects and arachnids from commercial and residential stakeholders in Alabama. These samples often originate from plants, but may include arthropods that invade or damage property, or are of medical or veterinary importance. These diagnoses commonly provide relevant information about biology or management derived from publications from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Stakeholder for this position includes, but is not limited to: county extension offices, researchers, homeowners, landowners, industry consultants, landscape professionals, and state and federal regulators.
This position will be a resource to various Extension teams (e.g., Row Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Home Horticulture) and may periodically provide seminars or trainings for these groups. Since insecticide recommendations may be part of the diagnoses, the candidate will obtain and maintain the relevant pesticide applicator’s license(s) from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
Other responsibilities include participation with the National Plant Diagnostic Network. This is a network of first detectors that quickly detect pests of agricultural and natural ecosystems. Alabama is one of 14 states within the southern region. Participation may include but is not limited to training or periodic reporting of new species detections. The successful candidate must also maintain a LIMS (laboratory information management system) to report identifications to the CERIS national repository. The successful candidate will maintain the microscope and imaging equipment used for diagnostics.