USDA-ARS Dispersal and Behavioral Ecology of Samurai Wasp Research Fellowship – Delaware

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Newark, Delaware
Job Category
Competitive Monthly Stipend
Last Date to Apply
*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit located in Newark, Delaware. Research Project: The Newark ARS laboratory conducts research on biological control of invasive insect pests, including the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) which is a significant pest of numerous specialty crops. One of its key native natural enemies in Asia, the samurai wasp, has been introduced into North America and has the potential to significantly reduce BMSB populations, but it does not yet have a widespread distribution in the U.S. The project goal is to accelerate this reduction by promoting wider regional establishment and distribution of the samurai wasp (Trissolcus japonicus). Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will assist in the following research activities: Determine the numbers of parasitoids to be field-released and the corresponding BMSB host density for optimal parasitoid establishment at a given location. Evaluate the influence and impact of kairomone traces deposited on host plant foliage by BMSB and select non-target species on parasitism by T. japonicus under field conditions. Conduct surveys for the presence of endosymbiotic Wolbachia in North America T. japonicus populations, and if found, determine their impact on parasitoid efficacy in lab assays. Learning Objectives: Skills and techniques to be learned and applied include: 1) experimental techniques for studying insect chemical ecology (including identification of bioactive chemicals); 2) molecular assays for insect symbionts; and 3) statistics appropriate for analysis of behavioral experiments. The project will provide growth opportunities to interact with scientists at collaborating institutions and participate in professional workshops and conferences through discussions and presentation of research. Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Kim Hoelmer ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 2020. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment(s) will initially be for eleven months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant(s) will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Preferred skills: - Broad knowledge of entomology, with specific skills and training in biological control of pests and biology of parasitoid wasps - Skills in data management and statistics for data analysis
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