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The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity, and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.
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Duties and Responsibilities
This is a 12-month tenured position (50-75% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station) and 25-50% administration) in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit. The tenure home will be in an IFAS department to be determined by the selected candidate. This position includes a highly competitive salary and startup package, and immense opportunities for collaboration at one of the leading US national research institutions.
A primary aim of the position is to establish a leading global research program on invasive species. The programmatic emphasis of the selected candidate should be on biology, ecology, evolution, management and/or socioeconomic dimensions of invasive species. The candidate’s research should address both basic and applied research questions to better understand invasive plants, animals, microbes, and/or their environmental interactions; and to develop reliable knowledge that informs policy decisions regarding eradication, mitigation and/or management of invasive pests. Research at multiple levels from molecular to ecosystems, and at the interface of invasive species with other global change drivers such as climate change and land use change, is of particular interest.
The global spread of non-native species and their costs continue to rise, and Florida is a hotspot for establishment and impacts of invasions across highly diverse managed and natural ecosystems, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine. UF already has over 130 faculty across multiple departments and colleges who identify as invasion science researchers, making UF uniquely positioned among its global peers in terms of faculty capacity in this area. UF also has a robust community of Extension specialists and agents working in this area, providing an important mechanism for translating research to stakeholders and agency partners.
A major goal for this position is to establish UF as a global leader in invasion science, in part by establishing a new interdisciplinary invasion science research and education center or institute at UF, which will help organize and synergize the already significant invasion science faculty programs across campus. The center/institute is expected to broadly engage collaborative groups of UF faculty to shape strategic research initiatives in invasion science to address important issues across invasive species that impact natural, agricultural, and urban environments.
The faculty member will also participate actively in undergraduate and graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis and dissertation research, supervising undergraduate research, catalyzing curriculum development, and publishing results with students.
The incumbent will actively seek contracts, grant funding, private donations, and partnerships to support their own research program and build the center/institute. Graduate education, postdoctoral training, and capacity building is envisioned as a focus of the center/institute.
Because of the UF/IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.
UF is home to several centers and programs that focus on invasive species. These include the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, the Florida Invasive Species Partnership, ProForest (Proactive Forest Health and Resilience), the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants, the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative, and the Emerging Pathogens Institute. Many federal and state partner agencies have a research footprint on or adjacent to the UF main campus or outlying Research and Education Centers, including the State of Florida’s Department of Plant Industry, the lead state agency responsible for plant health.