The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the post of Visiting Scientist – Entomologist.

IITA is an international non-profit research-for-development (R4D) organization created in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Our R4D is anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty by reducing producer and consumer risks, enhancing crop quality and productivity, and generating wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit for more information on IITA.

The Visiting Scientist - Entomologist will be assigned to the project entitled ‘Enhancing horticultural productivity, incomes and livelihoods through integrated management of aphid pests on vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa’.

Numerous leafy, fruit and root vegetables are widely grown, consumed, and sold in Africa. These vegetables play a key role in the nutrition and health of producers and consumers, providing employment opportunities and serving as a major source of income generation through local marketing and export. Pests such as aphids remain major constraints in vegetable production. Aphids can cause large losses in the yield and quality of their host crops through direct damage, accumulation of sooty molds, and transmission of virus diseases. Producers rely largely on synthetic pesticides for aphid control – as alternative options have not been developed and promoted - with little consideration for crop contamination and human and environmental effects, and the other negative effects such as the disruption of biological control agents that exist in these systems.

The project seeks to develop and implement pest management options – such as improved crop varieties, biological and microbial controls, and natural products – to limit crop losses due to aphid infestations in okra, cabbage and kale, reduce producer and consumer risks to synthetic pesticides, and enhance incomes and livelihoods.

Primary responsibilities for the Entomologist-Visiting Scientist will be to work with the project principal investigator and collaborating institutions on the following research and outreach activities:
Design and implementation of surveys on the distribution, diversity, and abundance of aphids and their natural enemies.
Design and implementation of experiments on population dynamics of aphids on cabbage, okra and kale, and the factors that affect the seasonal dynamics of aphids on the target crops.
Use of molecular tools in investigating diversity of aphids and their natural enemies.
Evaluation of the efficiency of geographic populations of natural enemies in suppressing aphid populations.
Farmer participatory evaluation of aphid control options including biological control, habitat management, entomopathogens, and natural products.
Student supervision.
Liaison with partners and farmers in all aspects of the project.
Data analysis, reporting and preparation of scientific publications and field guides.

Duty Station: IITA R4D Station in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Frequent travel is expected within Cameroon and to a lesser extent in Kenya, the two countries covered by the project.

Educational requirements: The candidate should have a PhD degree in Entomology with at least three years of post-PhD research experience in insect ecology, biological control and integrated pest management.

Proven skills and experience in entomology research both in the field and the laboratory.
Research experience in insect biology and management, with emphasis on biological control. Research experience with aphids is desirable.
Knowledge and application of molecular tools in biodiversity studies.
Descent publication record in good quality scientific journals.
Proven ability to work in multi-cultural environment and ability to establish good working relationships with partners.
Good management, interpersonal, and team-building skills.
Good budget management skills.
Fluency in oral and written English and a working knowledge of French.
Knowledge and application of GIS in entomological research.
Knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa an advantage.

GENERAL INFORMATION: The appointment is for two years, renewable for a third year depending on funding availability. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

APPLICATIONS: Applications: Applications including curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three referees should be addressed to the Human Resources Manager. Please complete our online application form using this link:

CLOSING DATE: June 25, 2011.

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Best Blogger Tips
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