Postdoctoral Position in Invasive Insect Microbiomes – Cornell University

Published by Cori VanGalder on

Postdoctoral Position in Invasive Insect Microbiomes - Cornell University

Cornell University, Section of Plant Pathology & Plant Microbe-Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, Ithaca, NY

Position Description:

A postdoctoral position is available to investigate microbes associated with the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), an invasive beetle from Asia. This NSF funded project will focus on the taxonomic, functional, and genetic biodiversity of microbes associated with emerald ash borer and to understand how they may contribute to the invasive biology of this insect pest. The postdoc will conduct fieldwork in NY, Minnesota, and Georgia to collect emerald ash borer, ash, and gallery samples and will use both metagenomic and transcriptomic approaches to characterize the microbiomes associated with these environments. They will also investigate functions of microbes in enabling insect infection of ash trees. Functional traits of microbes that may be investigated in laboratory and greenhouse bioassays include degradation of lignocellulose, detoxification of ash plant defense compounds, vectoring plant pathogenic fungi to enhance disease, or entomopathogenic fungi with the potential for biocontrol.

Anticipated Division of Time: Field research – 25%, Laboratory Research – 25%, Computational Data analysis – 30%, Writing – 15%, Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students – 5%.

Requirements: A PhD in Plant Biology, Fungal Biology/Mycology, Entomology, Molecular Biology, Forestry or a related field required. Experience isolating and identifying microbes using metabarcoding or metagenomic approaches, experience using R and other software packages to analyze microbial community composition and structure, and a willingness to learn computational skills to analyze functional gene content of shotgun metagenomes are highly desirable.

Applications: Applicants should submit a cover letter that addresses the requirements above, and include a statement of your research interests and experience, a curriculum vitae, a statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the names and contact information for three references via Applications will be reviewed beginning on September 8, 2021 and the position will remain open until filled. The start date is flexible but should be before 01/2022.

Application Materials Required:

Submit the following items online through the above website:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • A one-page statement of past research interests and accomplishments
  • 3 Professional References (actual letters acceptable but not required, just names and contact information)

And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info: Please contact Dr. Kathryn Bushley ( for further information about the position.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

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.

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. 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.