10. RESEARCH SCIENTIST: INSECT/ANIMAL CHEMICAL ECOLOGIST
ONE POSITION IS AVAILABLE
Position Title: Researcher (Investigador Titular A).
Employment Status: Full-Time, 12 months. The appointment is renewable depending
upon performance and funding. After three years, candidates can apply for tenure.
General Description: The successful candidate will develop a line of research directed at
elucidating the chemical mechanisms involved in insect-plant and insect-insect interactions
as well as the interactions between/among other animals. The applicant will work in the
Biomimic cluster, newly established biomimicry-inspired Scientific and Technological
laboratories, developing diverse projects focused in generating solutions of pests,
diseases or environmental problems through the identification and isolation and use of
plant secondary metabolites related to plant resistance in plant-insect and plant-pathogen
interactions, semiochemicals involved in the plant-herbivore, parasitoid and predator-host
relationships, as well as sexual (e.g., pheromones), protection (e.g., alarm pheromones)
and social (e.g., aggregation and host marking pheromone). The candidate will study
physiological, chemical and behavioral aspects of plant-insect and plant-animal
interactions, and develop projects and collaborations with other members of the Biomimic
cluster and other researchers at INECOL and associated institutions, such as CIQA
(Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada) or CICY (Centro de Investigación Científica
To foster a broad understanding of the aims of the Biomimic cluster among the new
scientific staff, once recruited, the candidate will spend a period of 2-6 months in CIQA
(Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada), CICY (Centro de Investigación Científica
de Yucatán) or the Instituto de Ecología at UNAM to establish productive collaborations,
write collaborative grants, and to foster long-term research projects. The candidate will
then return to the brand new facilities equipped with state-of-the art technologies to
perform high quality academic and technological studies. The recruited scientist will
actively collaborate with agronomists, biologists, ecologists, molecular biologists, chemists,
biochemists, and microbiologists to produce novel solutions to Mexico’s most pressing
problems/challenges. The recruited scientist will also meet on a regular basis with industry
and government representatives to identify demands, common interests and suitable
The successful candidate will perform the highest quality research at the cutting edge
of knowledge on the identification of chemicals that modulate insect behavior (i.e.,
pheromones, parapheromones, kairomones, allomones, etc.) and on the behavior of
insects in response to these chemicals. Researcher is expected to also collaborate
with scientists working on microorganisms and animals such as mammals, birds,
reptiles, and fish if time permits.
Develop and supervise applied insect chemical ecology projects focused on species of
direct agricultural importance in Mexico.
Collaborate on studies on the isolation, characterization and potential synthesis of
volatile compounds produced by species of the family Lauraceae that are native to
Mexico, with the aim of developing and testing novel attractants for traps targeted at
native and exotic insect pests of “Hass” avocados and other cultivars such as the
“Red Bay Ambrosia Beetle” (Xyleborus glabratus) or the “Tea Shot Hole Borer”
(Euwallacea fornicatus), that vector a lethal pathogen (Fusarium sp.) as well as other
insects of economic importance that attack commercially valuable fruit.
Characterization of insect responses to plant derived or insect/animal derived
Chemical analyses of substances using gas chromatography (GC) and GC-mass
spectrometry and other state-of-the-art equipment for chemical analyses of plant,
insect or animal derived substances.
Solid knowledge of statistics applied to chemistry, biology or other pertinent fields.
Use of established techniques (EAG, olfactometer, wind tunnel responses) to
determine the response of insects to a range of chemical substances derived from
natural or synthetic sources is necessary.
Use of electroantenography and electrotarsography.
The candidate will collaborate extensively with other researchers of the Biomimic
Teaching in INECOL Master's and Doctorate programs.
Supervising graduate and undergraduate students.
Write competitive grants to fund research activities submitted to Mexican and
international organizations/government agencies, and also to commercial companies.
Publish high quality papers in internationally recognized scientific journals, and
occasionally in books, national and outreach journals and popular magazines intended
for the general public.
Write or help write patents.
Help recruit talents for science and technology among primary, secondary and high
Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, biology or a closely related discipline
with a PhD/doctoral degree in insect chemical ecology or closely related field.
At least one postdoctoral position in area of expertise.
Special attention will be granted to those candidates having obtained outstanding
research achievements during their doctoral studies.
Expertise in advanced analytical procedures (HPLC, LC-MS-TOF, GC-MS, FT-IR) and
other state-of-the-art equipment for chemical analyses of plant or insect derived
substances as well as bromatological methods to quantify and identify nutrients and
secondary metabolites in tissue.
Ample experience in the use of established techniques (EAG, olfactometer, wind
tunnel responses) to determine the response of insects or other animals to a range of
chemical substances derived from natural or synthetic sources is necessary.
Experience in electroantenography and electrotarsography is desirable.
Fluency or a willingness to learn Spanish, both spoken and written, is required, as are
written and spoken skills in English.
Excellent interpersonal and multitasking skills, ability to negotiate, to deal with
pressure, complex situations and stress.
Work outside of regular business hours including weekends and travel is occasionally
Commitment to ethics/scientific integrity.
Ability to work with private sector as well as government agencies.
Skills in constructing and working in multidisciplinary teams as part of multidisciplinary
A spirit of collaboration/team working and service to society.
A driving license.
Authorship of at least 5 recent scientific publications (at least three as first author or
corresponding author), in high quality international indexed journals.
Interested candidates from Mexico and elsewhere in the entire world should send their
updated Curriculum Vitae and additional support material of particular value for members
of the Search Committee (e.g., citation record, relevant awards, narrative of particular
achievements or contributions to science) to Dr. Guillermo Angeles, Secretario Académico
at email@example.com always cc’ing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three letters of recommendation are needed as well as the e-mail addresses and
telephones of three established scientists/professors that have agreed to be interviewed
on the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. An additional letter by the candidate
expressing interest in the job, explaining how exactly her/his training/experience fits the job
description, and expressing her/his willingness to strictly adhere to the principles of
collaboration, team working, networking and scientific integrity is also needed. Any
questions should be addressed to Dr. Guillermo Angeles.