Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Assistant Professor, Applied Insect Ecologist

Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute)

Blacksburg, VA, United States

Job Description
Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is seeking applicants for a tenure track position of Assistant Professor – Applied Insect Ecologist (Job No. 511890) as part of its SmartFarm Innovation Network (SFIN) faculty cluster hire. The cluster hire of 13 new faculty positions will be filled over multiple years within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs). Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global leadership in this rapidly evolving domain.

This is an Assistant Professor position with equal appointment in research and Extension in the areas of invasive and emerging insect biology and integrated pest management (IPM). The position is located at the Hampton Roads AREC ( in Virginia Beach, near major ports of entry for the Eastern United States. The successful candidate’s tenure home will be the Department of Entomology on the main campus ( Opportunities for international engagement exist and are encouraged.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop a nationally-recognized, externally-funded research and Extension program on invasive and emerging insect pests impacting the nursery, greenhouse/ floriculture, landscape, and turfgrass industries. Areas of particular interest include, but are not limited to: insect ecology, biological control, population genetics, plant-insect interactions, and vectors of plant pathogens that are linked to the development of IPM strategies/tactics. The selected candidate will serve as a member of a team of scientists pursuing a systems approach to sustainable ornamental and turfgrass health, production and maintenance. The selected candidate will be expected to actively interact with faculty of the SFIN cluster as well as other faculty across the university.

The incumbent will also be expected to work closely with other Extension specialists and agents throughout the Commonwealth to plan, conduct and evaluate educational programs on insect pest biology and management for the nursery, greenhouse/floriculture, landscape, and turfgrass industries in the state. This Extension entomologist will serve clientele statewide through applied research, updating the Pest Management Guides (, information delivery, agent in-service training, and development and use of appropriate training/teaching materials.

Increased urbanization and the shipment of nursery stock and sod across the United States as well as from abroad has led to the increased spread of invasive species. Additionally, close proximity to dense human populations places severe constraints on management practices (i.e., insecticide use). These and other emerging constraints and challenges offer great opportunities for an enthusiastic entomologist to develop a productive professional career through discovering, producing, and implementing novel pest management approaches. Preference will be given to individuals with an established track record in invasive and emerging insect research and a demonstrated ability to secure extramural funding and publish in peer-reviewed, high-quality journals. The incumbent is expected to recruit and mentor graduate students.

To obtain more information and to apply for this position go to (Job #511890 at

In addition to the online application, applicants are required to attach a cover letter highlighting their qualifications and fit to this position; a current curriculum vita; a two-page statement of research extension interests and future research plans; three names and contact information of references who can assess the applicant’s qualifications for this position.

Review of applications will begin Friday, January 3, 2020 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. Inquiries concerning this position or the application process should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Chuan Hong (, 757-363-3908), Hampton Roads AREC, 1444 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455.

Required Qualifications
• PhD in entomology or a closely related discipline
• Experience in applied entomology
• Knowledge and experience in the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of field
• experiments and educational programming related to pest management
• An ability to work with diverse audiences, to communicate effectively (both oral and written), and to function effectively as a team member or leader.

About Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation please contact the hiring department.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.