Whitefly Post Doc Riley

Job description

Posting Number:


Working Title:

Whitefly Post Doc Riley


CAES Entomology Research Coastal

About the University of Georgia:

The University of Georgia (UGA), a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities is the state’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education (http://www.uga.edu/). UGA is currently ranked among the top 20 public universities in U.S. News & World Report. The University’s main campus is located in Athens, approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA was founded in 1785 by the Georgia General Assembly as the first state-chartered University in the country. UGA employs approximately 1,800 full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,600 full-time staff. The University’s enrollment exceeds 36,000 students including over 27,500 undergraduates and over 8,500 graduate and professional students. Academic programs reside in 17 schools and colleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta University housed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens.

Employment Type:


Additional Schedule Information:

Full time; 40 hour per week

Advertised Salary:


Anticipated Start Date:


Posting Date:


Open Until Filled:


Location of Vacancy:

Tifton Area

EOO Statement:

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact Central HR ([email protected]).


The position will be specifically focused on toxicology technologies for whiteflies, including dose-response (LC50) determinations, induction of metabolic detoxification and testing for pre- and post-treatment responses, and molecular techniques for determining the presence and frequency of insecticide resistance genes. Following the insecticide bioassays, surviving insects will be preserved in RNAlater and stored at -40C until RNA and DNA extraction can be performed. Total RNA will be extracted with a Direct-zol RNA miniprep kit (Zymo Research) according to the manufacturer’s protocol, after which first-strand cDNA will be generated using SuperScript VILO master mix (Invitrogen). Genomic DNA will be extracted using an E.Z.N.A. Insect DNA Kit (Omega Bio-tek). cDNA and genomic DNA will be stored at -80o until assayed. Standard PCR will be used initially to screen for known mutations conferring target-site resistance. Specific mutations will be described above for each class of insecticide. Primers will be designed to amplify only wild-type (susceptible) targets, so failure to amplify the target will imply a mutation relative to the wild-type sequence. The specific mutation will be identified by amplifying and sequencing (in both directions) a region of ~600 bp around the suspected mutation site. Various PCR machines (including a MJ Research PTC-200 nad an Eppendorf MasterCycler Gradient machine) are available at the Athens campus. Amplifications will use Phusion Taq (New England Biolabs), a proofreading Taq polymerase, to minimize chances of PCR-induced errors.

The whitefly colony rearing, bench top bioassays, field collections / testing, and sample preparation for RNA and DNA extraction will be conducted on the UGA Tifton Campus. PCR work will be conducted at the UGA Athens Campus and all travel costs for this work will be covered by the project, but the candidate is expected to live in or near Tifton. In addition to the development of refereed journal articles from this work, the candidate will summarize insecticide resistance management information for public use through a whitefly management website and present findings at the annual SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference at Savannah, GA.

Percentage of time:


Classification Title:

Post-Doctoral Associate AD





Position Summary:

The successful applicant will coordinate, conduct and publish original research to support southeastern growers with management of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, on vegetables. The project will integrate knowledge of insecticide resistance, pest ecology and biology to formulate and test novel pest management strategies to include insecticide resistance management, improved insecticide controls, and basic knowledge on the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in whiteflies. Research is expected to include laboratory, greenhouse, plot and on-farm trials. Funds were specifically budgeted in the grant to support this position. This work can not be completed successfully unless this position is filled. The project will integrate knowledge of pest ecology and biology to formulate and test novel pest management strategies to include cultural controls, insecticides, host plant resistance and biological control. Research is expected to include laboratory, greenhouse, plot and on-farm trials. Funds were specifically budgeted in the grant to support this position. This work can not be completed successfully unless this position is filled.

Relevant/Preferred Education, Experience, Licensure, Certification in Position:

Applicant must have a Ph.D. in Entomology or a closely related field and a strong background of relevant course work and experience in toxicology, data analysis and publication, and experience in identifying mechanisms of insecticide resistance in insects.

Physical Demands:

Bending, stooping and lifting lightweight materials.

Field work

Is this a Position of Trust?:


Does this position have operation, access, or control of financial resources? :


Does this position require a P-Card? :


Is having a P-Card an essential function of this position? :


Is driving a requirement of this position?:


Does this position have direct interaction or care of children under the age of 18 or direct patient care?:


Does this position have Security Access (e.g., public safety, IT security, personnel records, patient records, or access to chemicals and medications):





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Job No:
Posted: 12/17/2020
Application Due: 1/30/2021
Work Type: Full Time