Job Overview


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the United States Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency and one of the world's premiere scientific organizations.  ARS Postdoctoral Research Associates are hired to supplement a lead scientist's research on agricultural problems of high national priority affecting American agriculture.

Applications for this position will be accepted from both US Citizens and Foreign Nationals who meet both  Appropriations Law and Immigration Law requirements found under "Foreign Nationals Eligible for Federal Employment" at



Major Duties:

The specific objectives of the incumbent are to use PCR-based gut content analysis to establish trophic linkages to corn within an arthropod community and establish whether dsRNA passes to higher trophic levels (predators and parasitoids) via consuming herbivores.  To accomplish these objectives, diets of a corn arthropod community will be analyzed using qPCR-based gut content analysis to generate a quantitative food web based on taxon abundance, frequency of corn consumption and the quantity of corn DNA consumed.  Species most exposed to dsRNA expressed in GM corn will be identified.  Insecticidal dsRNA will be administered to three non-target herbivores with different feeding ecologies.  These pests will be fed to a suite of relevant natural enemies, whose fitness will be measured.  The presence of the dsRNA will be assessed using targeted qRT-PCR.