Postdoctoral position in Plant-Arthropod Interactions at Utah State University

The Ramirez Lab at Utah State University ( seeks a postdoctoral associate to work on a USDA funded project to improve our understanding of the effects of drought-tolerant plant hybrids and efficient irrigation systems for water-challenged cropping systems on plant-pest (arthropod and weeds) interactions. The goal is to develop and optimize sustainable and multidisciplinary integrated pest management. Specifically, we propose to test the effects of drought-tolerant corn hybrids exposed to water-stressed conditions on the outbreak of spider mites and competitive interactions with weeds. Water-efficient irrigation systems are being increasingly adopted by corn producers to meet the demands of limited water resources and maintaining a healthy crop. Therefore, we also propose to evaluate how changes in irrigation practices impact the interactions among drought-tolerant corn, spider mites, and shared weed hosts. Our novel approach will improve our ability to predict pest pressures (outbreaks or competition) utilizing water-conservation management strategies (drought-tolerant plant hybrids and irrigation practices) and develop new pest management strategies in a water-stressed cropping environment.

The postdoctoral associate will conduct research on the spider mite components of this project in the Biology Department and work with researchers in the Plant, Soils, and Climate Department, along with a graduate student evaluating the weed science aspects of the project. The candidate will be expected to conduct field, greenhouse, and lab studies leading to research publications and will participate in plant defense protein analyses. In addition, the candidate will participate in extension outreach events geared toward corn producers and be expected to assist in outreach publications.

The position includes a competitive salary commensurate with experience and education, plus benefits. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Early start date of May 1 is a possibility to begin assisting with the setup of the first field season. Visit for more information and to apply online.