[ECOLOG-L] Post-doc position available USDA ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

The USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida is currently seeking a post-doctoral associate for a project
involving the implementation and evaluation of classical biological
control agents targeting Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum,
in the greater Everglades ecosystem.

BACKGROUND
Old World climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum, was introduced to
Florida for horticultural use and was first reported as naturalized in
1965. It is now widespread in wetland and mesic habitats in south and
central Florida. Lygodium microphyllum invades both disturbed and
ecologically sensitive areas, degrading habitats and reducing ecosystem
services. The vine has indeterminate rachis growth and can climb 20
meters or more into trees or extend horizontally and often forms dense
monocultures. It produces incredible numbers of windborne spores that
can be self-compatible. Lygodium microphyllum also forms a persistent
rhizome, which is difficult to kill using traditional techniques such as
herbicide or prescribed burns, resulting in re-growth post-treatment.

Two biological control agents are currently available for release
against L. microphyllum in Florida: the moth Neomusotima conspurcatalis
(Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and the leaf-rolling mite Floracarus perrepae
(Acariformes: Eriophyidae). Both have a widespread but patchy
distribution throughout the expanding range of L. microphyllum in
Florida.

OBJECTIVE
The objective is to establish viable populations of N. conspurcatalis
and F. perrepae on Old World climbing fern in southern Florida as part
of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). To this end,
the post-doctoral associate will manage the mass rearing, release,
evaluation, and monitoring of these agents. The ultimate goal is to
increase suppression of Old World climbing fern throughout the CERP
area.

APPROACH
The post-doctoral research associate will supervise mass rearing of the
agents and collaborate with the principle investigator in developing a
release and monitoring study design. The successful candidate will also
develop contacts and interact with cooperators and land managers from
various agencies, participate in a field-based evaluation of impacts,
and will be responsible for data collection, data analysis, and
dissemination and publication of results. The post-doctoral associate
will also participate in other related research activities as directed.

POSITION DETAILS
The successful candidate must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
seeking citizenship recently awarded a Ph.D. in entomology, ecology or
related field. This position is a GS-11 temporary 2 year appointment,
depending on funding, that can be renewed once, with the total
appointment not to exceed 4 years. The position is available
immediately. No relocation expenses will be paid. Send CV, transcripts,
and contact information for three references to Ellen.Lake@ars.usda.gov
by 5:00 PM EST March 11, 2016.

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