Job Title: Research Associate
Organization: Entomology Department, LSU AgCenter
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
The successful candidate will be responsible for rearing and monitoring of giant salvinia weevils (Cyrtobagous salviniae) in coastal Louisiana. Responsibilities will include the rearing of weevils in open-earthen ponds located in Lafayette, LA. Activities will include inoculation of giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) into the ponds, fertilization of plants, inoculation of weevils, monitoring of pond conditions, and harvest of ponds. Regular pond maintenance will include herbicide and insecticide application in and around the ponds to reduce weed and insect densities. The associate will follow an established quality-control protocol for the mass rearing operation. Water quality data (pH, conductivity, nitrogen levels) and weevil density (adults and larva counts) will be collected monthly. The associate will work closely with team leaders of LSU AgCenter and Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) to coordinate the harvest of weevil-infested salvinia for distribution in coastal parishes. The impact of the biological control program will be monitored at several marshes in coastal Louisiana. The candidate will sample several field sites in coastal Louisiana and collect data such as salvinia biomass, submerged aquatic vegetation, water quality, and weevil densities. Physical activities related to this job may include but not limited to: periodic lifting of 20 lbs., mowing perimeter of ponds, using a backpack sprayer, driving state trucks and boats, wading in waist deep water to collect weevil samples, and harvesting ponds. The successful candidate will prepare quarterly reports and will work closely with collaborators in CWPPRA, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, and United States Geological Survey. For more information about biological control of giant salvinia, please visit: www.lsuagcenter.com/giantsalvinia
Bachelor’s degree in Entomology or related discipline including Ecology, Biology or Botany. Experience working with insects, aquatic habitats, insect colony maintenance, data collection, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or boating is preferred. We seek a candidate with a high standard in scientific writing and oral communication