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Junior Specialist/Alfalfa Insect Pest Management

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


Junior Specialist Position, Alfalfa Insect Pest Management

Nature and Purpose
This Junior Specialist position will assist with laboratory, greenhouse, and field research focusing on insect pests of alfalfa hay production. These pests include weevils such as alfalfa weevil and clover root curculio. The junior specialist will manage and assist with numerous studies assessing treatment thresholds, biological control, life history, and alfalfa varietal susceptibility to these insect pests and with developing improved management programs. This position will be housed in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis, and work with scientists and Farm Advisors in the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Department of Plant Sciences, UCD.

Applicants are expected have a background in sustainable agriculture, plant health management, or a related field. The incumbent must be a motivated, organized, independently driven individual who is able to work and collaborate with members of the lab in a professional manner. The candidate must therefore have excellent organization skills, including abilities for short term and long term time management. As the major contributor to research studies, the incumbent expected to contribute to outreach publications and reports, drafting written materials and present work at local meetings. Work will be conducted in the lab, in campus greenhouses, and alfalfa farms throughout California.

The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:

• Assist the PI and UC staff in investigating the biology and management of two alfalfa pests, the alfalfa weevil and clover root curculio. This will be through greenhouse and field studies with the goal of developing information that will aid in designing management programs for these pests. This includes understanding the life history, biological control, economic threshold levels, and efficacy of management practices for controlling these pests.

• Project development will involve active engagement of literature in project development and interpretation beyond that expected in a purely technical capacity, including use of literature for hypothesis development, development of literature reviews, and development of introductory and discussion material in the preparation for discussions and for manuscripts and reports.

The position will be based in the Dept. of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis with campus greenhouse and laboratory facilities utilized. Field studies will be conducted in alfalfa fields throughout California with some travel required. Office, computer and laboratory space are available.

Professional Competence
The incumbent will assist the PI’s in writing publications and drafting reports and will be a co-author with intellectual contributions to the research. The incumbent will also have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings in the UC Davis Entomology and Nematology department and other local (on-campus) events.

University and Public Service
As part of UC service and service to the public, the incumbent will help identify weevil pests for crop producers as well as for research scientists at UC Davis and within UC cooperative extension. These diagnosis services are conducted free of charge, representing a significant service to the agricultural producer’s research community.

Requirements and preferences
• This position requires a degree (B.S. or M.S.) in Plant Science, Plant Biology, Biology, Sustainable Agriculture, Insect Ecology or related discipline.
• Previous research experience in a related are with research experience strongly preferred; experience working with crop production highly desirable.
• Must have a valid California driver’s license, as substantial travel within California is required.
• Must also be able to lift at least 30 lbs and work out of doors under challenging environmental conditions.
• Must have basic knowledge of plant biology.
• Experience with agricultural production, pest management, and specifically alfalfa highly desired.
• Must have basic skills with word processing, excel and powerpoint; some experience with statistical analysis strongly preferred.
• Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Must be able to minimally commit one year to this position, with possibility for extension to two years.
• Hours: 40 hours per week
• Location: UC Davis campus

UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities.

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco free-campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis -- indoors and outdoors including parking lots and residential spaces.

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)