The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Plant Protection Biology, Unit of Chemical Ecology has an open position for a postdoc in Biology, with a focus on Ecology and Plant Protection Biology. The postdoc will perform field studies and analyses of field collected data. In addition, behavioural studies, collection and analysis of plant odours and DNA-based identification of insects can be included.
The Unit of Chemical Ecology has a long tradition of scientific studies on insect ecology, with a special focus on chemical communication and plant-insect interactions. The research group where the post-doc will work has long experience with performing laboratory and field research, including monitoring of populations in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. The group also has a large network of contacts and ongoing collaborations with scientists within ecology, and with scientists and stakeholders within plant protection and cropping systems, with a focus on oilseed rape.
This project will address general scientific and applied issues regarding long-term sustainability of insect pest management in Swedish and global agriculture, using winter oilseed rape as a model system. We will investigate potential ecosystem services and other benefits to plant protection that can be harnessed from multi-trophic interactions in diversified landscapes and cropping systems. This includes interactions between major target herbivores and their natural enemies on the oilseed rape crop and how these are influenced by landscape and field diversification, and the resulting effects on yield.
We will characterize volatile signals driving interactions between plants and insects, as well as within and between different higher trophic levels in the community of the oilseed rape crop.Our long-term goal is to provide better forecasting methods for acute pest control in agriculture and to decrease reliance on insecticides through updated and refined management thresholds which consider the effects of insecticides on the overall web of interactions in the oilseed rape crop.
The project will monitor population changes among pests and beneficial insects and study interactions between different insects species in oilseed rape crop. Field studies will be performed including trap catches, collections of insect samples and monitoring of plant damage. GIS-based landscape analyses will be done to study the influence of the surrounding landscape. The post-doc may also be involved in odour-guided behavioural experiments, identification of behaviourally active odour compounds and molecular insect identification.
The successful candidate should hold a PhD in Biology, Ecology, Agronomy or similar subject, preferably with a focus on applied insect ecology in the light of plant protection. Experience with ecological investigations, especially insect distribution and dispersal, and statistical analysis of large datasets is a strong merit. Furthermore, experience of field studies and agricultural systems is also a merit.
In addition, good knowledge and experience in insect chemical ecology and molecular methods, will also be considered. The candidate should be fluent in spoken and written English and have excellent communication skills. The candidate should enjoy working in a group environment, as well as demonstrate a solid ability to work independently to advance our research. A valid driver’s license is a requirement.
As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions for junior researchers, we are primarily looking for candidates with a doctoral degree that is three years old at most.
Place of work:
Form of employment:
Temporary employment (2 years) with the possibility of extension.
1 September 2022 or according to agreement.
We welcome your application no later than 2022-08-07, use the button below. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world. SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.
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