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Research Assistant in Entomology and Insect Ecology/Management

Kentucky State University
Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Mar 6, 2024

Job Details

TITLE: Research Assistant in Entomology and Insect Ecology/Management

DEPARTMENT: College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator




PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF JOB: The Research Assistant will serve as a support person for the Entomology and Insect Ecology and Management Program, and will assist in developing, conducting, and managing field and Laboratory research for this program at Kentucky State University. The successful candidate will also help prepare manuscripts for publishing in journals and presenting relevant information at scientific meetings, in addition to Extension and outreach programming such as the KSU Third Thursday Sustainable Ag Workshops.

SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY: The successful candidate in this position will work closely with the principal investigator, the Research Associate, and be a member of the team conducting investigative field and laboratory research focusing on conservation biological control using native perennial plants to increase biodiversity of insect predators and parasitoids (i.e., natural enemies) to manage pest insects in vegetable and fruit crops. This position will also evaluate/develop sustainable methods of insect pest management by conducting laboratory bioassays of flowering plants, weeds, and synthetic herbivore induced plant protection odors which may attract or repel beneficial insects.

This position involves assisting with the design, implementation, and maintenance of field, laboratory, and greenhouse experiments. It involves setting up experiments, collecting, entering, and statistical analyses of data, assisting with development of manuscripts for publication, PowerPoints for presenting, plus training and supervising other researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates who are conducting research in the program. Experience operating farm machinery (i.e.. tractors, planters, cultivators, tine weeders, etc.) is preferred. Experience analyzing data using modern statistical software is essential as is fluency in all Microsoft Office Software.

  • Conduct field experiments to determine attractancy of native perennial plants to predatory lady beetles, lacewings, big eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, ground beetles and other predators and parasitoids of sweet corn, and other vegetable and fruit crop insect pests.
  • Assist designing, implementing, and maintaining laboratory, field, and greenhouse experiments.
  • Assist designing and implementing demonstration plots at grower collaborator farms.
  • Carry out maintenance and management of experiments including plot preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, seed purchases and detailed record keeping.
  • Collect, enter, and analyze data for statistical analyses.
  • Assist in developing manuscripts for publication.
  • Train, supervise, and mentor research assistants, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students conducting research in this program.
  • Cursory greenhouse maintenance and management for rearing native perennial plants.
  • Facilitate and conduct informational talks and tours at field days, national meetings and other events.
  • Conduct laboratory research using an olfactometer to quantify plant attractancy to insects
  • Other related duties as required.
OTHER DUTIES: The position will conduct other duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS: Required: B.S. in Entomology, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Agriculture, Soil Science, Agronomy, or related area. One to three years of relevant experience preferred.

Licensing and Certifications: A valid driver’s license is required. Candidate will need to earn pesticide applicators license through the University of Kentucky/Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Service.

  • Proficient use of stereoscopic dissecting and compound microscopes.
  • Be able to identify insects and plants by sight and by using appropriate taxonomic keys.
  • Ability to use a personal computer and a variety of related office and statistical software applications.
  • Good knowledge and appreciation of program clientele.
  • Knowledge of research and educational capabilities of USDA and the Land Grant system knowledge base in the area of expertise.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Research skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work in teams and supervise.
  • Knowledge of farming practices desirable.
  • To have a valid driver’s license, have daily transportation, and ability to operate a motor vehicle.

  • Work involves operating and carrying field-based research equipment and instrumentation
  • Ability to carry at least 40 lbs.
  • This job involves some travel to scientific meetings and to cooperator farms.
Internal Candidates are Encouraged to Apply

Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. At this time, Kentucky State University is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa

KENTUCKY STATE UNVERSITY is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The functions, qualifications, knowledge/skills, and physical requirements listed in this job description represent the essential duties of the job, which the incumbent must be able to perform either with or without reasonable accommodation. The Job Functions listed do not necessarily include all activities that the individual may perform.


Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy.

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