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Postdoctoral Research Fellow Job in Kenya

icipe — African Insect Science for Food and Health is an intergovernmental organisation funded by governmental aid agencies, UN organisations and private foundations to carry out research and training in environmentally sound and sustainable management of arthropods for improving health and agricultural productivity in the tropics. 

icipe has approximately 350 staff to support its research and capacity building programmes located at various sites in Kenya and  Ethiopia.

icipe wishes to urgently recruit a suitable person to fill the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Thrips Bioecology and Management in the Thrips IPM Programme

A competitive compensation package will be offered to the right candidate.

He/she would be expected to be among a team conducting complementary management studies that incorporate fungal entomopathogens, habitat management, bait-based technology, and use of soft pesticide in an integrated system to manage thrips on grain legumes and vegetables. 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to closely interact with globally renowned scientists in thrips research, and develop proposals and build capacity in project management.

Overall purpose of the job

To undertake research pertaining to thrips behaviour, ecology and semiochemicals in support of the development of novel thrips management strategies on grain legumes and vegetables.


Overall duties:

The successful candidate will be expected to:
  • Conduct a balanced upstream and applied research programme targeted towards field bioecological research on bean flower thrips; and
  • Identify and develop new aggregation pheromones from blends of thrips headspace
  • Volatiles for use in “attract and kill” strategy in combination with entomopathogens and soft pesticides.
Specific duties:

The successful candidate will:
  • Study bean flower thrips dynamics and aggregation behaviour under different grain legume cropping systems/seasons.
  • Characterise semiochemicals in headspace volatile collections from male thrips aggregations.
  • Conduct bean flower thrips behavioural assays to evaluate thrips aggregation response to potential aggregation pheromone analogues.
  • Conduct screen house/field experiments to assess aggregation efficacy of promising aggregation pheromone analogues.
  • Evaluate the compatibility of the pheromone analogues with other management components.
Knowledge required for performing the job
  • Ability to design and undertake both laboratory and field experiments.
  • Proficiency in use of statistical tools, especially R and other related statistical software.
  • Prior experience in thrips ecology, management and semiochemical research will be preferred.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with minimal supervision.
  • Eagerness to learn new techniques and publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to mentor technical staff and students and demonstrate leadership skills.
  • PhD in entomology/crop protection and related fields with emphasis on thrips research from a recognised university within the last two years.
  • Track record of peer-reviewed publications and proposal development.
Candidates from Africa and females possessing the above-mentioned qualifications are especially invited to apply.

Applications will be accepted up to 19 September 2012. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

Applications with detailed résumés including current salary details, a one page statement of research interest; names and addresses of three referees (with daytime telephone numbers), and e-mail address should be sent to:

The Human Resources Department,
icipe - African Insect Science for Food and Health
P.O Box 30772-00100

icipe is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

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