Assistant Research Professor, Crop Protection

University of Missouri Columbia
Portageville, MO
Closing date
Dec 3, 2021

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Assistant Research Professor, Crop Protection Crop Protection Specialist of Insects and Diseases
Affecting Field Crops
Assistant Research Professor and State Extension Specialist for
Crop Protection
Division of Plant Science and Technology, University of
Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Responsibilities: The successful candidate will primarily
focus on the pest management of insects and diseases affecting
field crops important to the state and region. The program of the
successful candidate will be expected to include modern approaches
to the management of insect pest and disease populations such as
studies of interactions between various crop plants and natural
enemies; behavior of insects and diseases; development of models to
study the dynamics of insect and disease populations; utilization
of natural enemies; other biorational methods and agronomic
practices to improve the management of insect and disease
populations; development of innovative sampling techniques to
detect and monitor insects and diseases; elucidation of economic
thresholds; and the development and evaluation of transgenic plants
and resistance management plans for transgenic plants under
Missouri conditions.
Insect and disease depredation are major factors limiting
production of field crops in Missouri. Soybeans, corn, sorghum,
rice, wheat and other crops are affected by a complex of below and
aboveground insects and disease species. The growing public
apprehension about insecticide, fungicide and nematicide use have
prompted entomologists and plant pathologists to explore broad,
biorational approaches to deal with insect and disease pests. The
widespread use of pesticides in agriculture, has resulted in the
development of pest resistance to insecticides and fungicides;
undesirable toxicity to nontarget organisms; and possible
environmental contamination. This has stimulated research on
alternative methodologies, with integrated pest management (IPM) as
the premier model. The strength of the IPM approach is its reliance
on a multifaceted integration of biological, cultural, mechanical
and chemical approaches to contain pest populations while
maintaining the productivity of agroecosystems in a cost-effective
and environmentally safe manner. The successful candidate is
expected to conduct research and develop practices to address the
issues described above.
The work will include planning, designing, and conducting field
experiments (including data collection and statistical analyses)
with input from producers to target research projects relative to
the Missouri crop producing region. Ability to secure extramural
funding and publishing research findings is also required.
Collaboration with public and private researchers, farmers, and
extension specialists within Missouri and other states is expected.
Availability to producers to answer questions relative to
management of insects and diseases in crop production is
Specific activities of this position include: (1) Development,
funding and coordination of a crop protection/disease and pest
management program that meets the needs of crop farmers statewide;
(2) Active collaboration with other faculty and extension
specialists (on-campus and off-campus); (3) Interactions with
stakeholders, commodity groups, farmers, advisory boards and other
groups; (4) Significant contributions to the weekly Integrated Pest
Management conference calls with state and field specialists in
Extension; (5) Dissemination of research-based information to
producers, industry and the scientific community via extension
presentations and other publications including refereed
publications. The successful candidate will also serve as state
extension specialist. The role and responsibilities for State
Extension Specialists in the College of Agriculture, Food, and
Natural Resources can be found at this link:

The position is located at the University of Missouri's (MU),
Delta Research Center in Portageville, MO. Major crops in southeast
Missouri include cotton, corn, rice, soybeans, grain sorghum and
emerging crops such as peanuts. The T.E. "Jake" Fisher Delta
Research Center (FDRC) (, is
part of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and
contributes to MU's comprehensive land-grant responsibility.
Its goal is to conduct high quality research that will respond to
the needs of Missouri citizens, maintain and enhance our natural
resource base, support a vital food and fiber system, and help keep
Missouri producers competitive and profitable. FDRC staff
work with campus faculty involved in teaching, research and
extension along with state and federal agencies and Missouri
agribusinesses to undergird education and a reliable, safe,
sustainable supply of food and other agricultural products. In
addition, FDRC faculty commonly collaborate with other state
university faculty and staff and with others in industry on joint
research projects that impact local, state, regional, national and
international clientele. The FDRC facilities include 1,119
acres at four locations representing the major soil types of the
region. In addition, the Missouri Rice Research farm
consisting of 110 acres is an essential location to conduct
research trials. The FDRC headquarters consists of 23 offices,
seven modern laboratories, eight greenhouses, Foundation Seed
cleaning and storage facilities, an auditorium, an exhibit hall, a
library and an outstanding professional and support staff. While
the position is located at the FDRC, the successful candidate will
also be an integral faculty member of the Division of Plant Science
and Technology (DPST) in Columbia, MO (
Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. in Entomology, Plant
Pathology, Agronomy or a related field by the time of
Candidates will be evaluated on: Experience in education
and integrated pest management strategies to minimize negative
impacts of insects and diseases affecting field crops such as
cotton, corn, soybeans rice, and grain sorghum. Relevant
postdoctoral experience is advantageous, but not a requirement.
Excellent oral skills to communicate with farmers and other
commodity stakeholders and the ability to work well in a
collaborative team are essential. Other skills include the ability
to secure funding, a knowledge of operating and maintaining plot
and farm-scale equipment, and proven experience in data analysis,
and writing (e.g., grant proposals, scientific and extension
Salary: Commensurate with experience and
Benefits: The University offers a comprehensive benefits
package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement,
and educational fee discounts. For additional information on
University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits
website at
Closing Date: Review of applications will begin as they
are received and continue to be accepted until a suitable candidate
is identified.
Application Procedure: Please submit a resume with a list
of recent publications, a cover letter in which the experiences and
the suitability for the advertised position is clearly described,
academic transcripts, and the contact information for at least 3
references. Applications should be submitted at the following
Job ID 39177.
The University of Missouri values diversity and is committed to
working towards achieving equity and inclusion within all its
programs. Candidates applying for this position are required to
provide a statement addressing how they would utilize their former
experience and knowledge to promote diversity and inclusion at the
university and how that commitment would add value to the Division
of Plant Science and Technology.
Contact: Questions pertaining to the job may be directed
to Dr. James Schoelz (, Chair of the Search
Committee at University of Missouri, or the Director of the
Division of Plant Science and Technology Heike Buecking
( Questions regarding the application
process should be directed to Human Resource Services at (573)
882-7976 or
The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the
goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty,
staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this
goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility,
discovery and excellence.
Equal Employment Opportunity: The University of Missouri
is an equal access, equal opportunity, affirmative action employer
that is fully committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.
Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and
applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated
ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis
of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex,
sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age,
genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status. For
more information, call the Vice Chancellor of Human Resource
Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256. To request ADA
accommodations, please call the Disability Inclusion and ADA
Compliance Manager at 573-884-7278. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Keywords: Extension Specialist, Location: Portageville, MO - 63873

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