Cornell University, Entomology/CALS

3108 21602
Position ID:Cornell-Entomology/CALS-POSTDOCTHALER [#21602, WDR-00030819]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Area: Biology
Appl Deadline:2022/09/01 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2022/04/08, finished 2022/09/14, listed until 2022/09/01)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.  CALS is fundamentally invested in improving the lives of people, their environments and their communities both in New York state and around the world.

POSITION:  Postdoctoral Associate

SUMMARY: We seek a Postdoctoral Researcher to participate in research investigating chemical ecology based alternatives to neonicotinoid pesticides. Our lab combines field-scale experiments with laboratory behavioral and chemical assays to determine the mechanisms of plant resistance to insects. The postdoc will oversee research investigating techniques for manipulating plant resistance for protection from seed corn maggot and other pests, in particular how multiple approaches can be combined. In addition, the postdoc will conduct a literature review of chemical ecology practices and how they are best used in an integrated pest management framework. This includes leading laboratory and field experiments and conducting a literature review. Experiments will work largely with seed corn maggot and other pests and pathogens of northeastern corn. The literature review will focus on chemical ecology approaches in corn and other crops of agricultural importance in the northeast. The successful candidate should have excellent oral and written communication skills, should be capable of independently writing research articles arising from the research, and should be comfortable communicating with collaborators at other institutions. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to lab management and supervision of graduate and undergraduate students in the lab.  This is a one-year term position, renewable for a second or third year depending on funding, available work, and performance.

BASIC FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITY: The Postdoctoral Associate will coordinate and carry out the proposed project under supervision of Jennifer Thaler including the literature review and all laboratory and field experiments, and analyze the data and prepare written summaries of the projects for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Laboratory and Field research (30%)
•  Conduct laboratory assays, including choice and no choice experiments with behavioral assays, manipulation of odor cues affecting insect behavior, measurement of plant secondary chemicals using spectrophotometry and LC-MS.
•  Conduct field experiments in corn plants in Ithaca and the Fingerlakes region both on Cornell research farms and in grower fields.

Literature Review (20%)
•  Evaluate the primary literature on chemical ecology practices used individually and in combination in agricultural pest management.
•  Work with collaborators at Cornell and other institutions to compile results from the primary literature.

Data analysis/interpretation/writing (30%)
 •  Conduct analysis of results using R or another statistical program
•  Write the results for publication

Laboratory management (5%)
•   Maintain a clean and organized laboratory
•   Work with the Gold greenhouse grower to maintain a pest free greenhouse
•   Place eShop orders for equipment and supplies
•   Approve Workday timecards for undergraduate assistants
•   Adhere to chemical safety procedures, and responsible disposal of waste and hazardous material.
•   Ensure that all protocols and procedures adhere to safety requirements as mandated by the Cornell Office of Occupational & Environmental Health and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Communication (5%)
•   Present results at scientific conferences
Supervision (5%)
•   Oversee and manage general lab operations
•   Train graduate and undergraduate students in field and laboratory protocols
•  Assist graduate students, other postdocs, or other staff in the field or laboratory when necessary

Personal and professional development (5%)
•   Seek out and attend educational seminars and training workshops relevant to the research
•   Attend weekly lab meetings and weekly Plant Insect Discussion Group
•   Continuously maintain all required educational and position qualifications to fulfill job requirements.
QUALIFICATIONS: A PhD in entomology, ecology, or related fields is required. We seek a candidate with previous experience with corn, assays of plant resistance to insects and pathogens, synthetic literature reviews, toxicological assays, field experiments, insect rearing experience. A strong commitment to expanding and fostering diversity is required. Successful applicants will be self-motivated, detail-oriented and possess excellent oral and communication skills, with a strong record of peer-reviewed publications.

Applicants should submit a Cover Letter, CV, Statement of Research Background and Interests, and Contact Information for three people who can provide professional references and a Statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion via the website:

We welcome discussion about the position in advance of application, and candidates are encouraged to contact Jennifer Thaler at to discuss research interests and potential future directions.

Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting. Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application. Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant. EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
2126 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853