Conducts directed research on introduced pests of ornamental plants to determine biology, population dynamics, behavior, and control. This requires organizing and planning all aspects of experiments, obtaining or growing and maintenance of necessary plants and insects; following experimental design and setup, and data organization and collection. Conducts chemical efficacy trials which requires organizing and planning all aspects of the trials including mixing and preparation of the pesticides and other types of products, maintenance of insects and plants, applying pesticides and other products, evaluating efficacy and any other required parameters, collecting, and organizing data. Responsible for the procurement of laboratory and field supplies, tools and equipment for the laboratory and field.
Rearing of pest insects and natural enemies used in experimentation. This requires field collection of insects and maintenance of insect and other pest colonies in the laboratory. This requires methods development for rearing of different types of insects based on the biological needs of each insect. This also requires identification and handling of the various insect stages. Scheduling and planning are critical in order to provide the necessary numbers and appropriate stages of insects for experimentation but also maintain a healthy colony. Constant monitoring is necessary for contamination or other problems common to rearing insects.
Assist Quarantine Officer for the Tropical Research and Education Center Arthropod Quarantine Facility. Assist in operational functions including handling incoming shipments, identification of material and voucher deposition, following federal requirements for import permits, biological shipment records, quarantine releases and strict sanitary guideline.
Responsible for processing samples submitted to the Tropical Research and Education Center Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Maintains database of insect identifications. Must provide initial review when the sample arrives in the lab prior to final identification by the researcher. Must maintain logs on when samples arrive and their status. Responsible for rearing any pests when necessary for identification; submitting unknown samples to appropriate authorities; and disposing of samples when necessary.
Conducts library literature searches for the above procedures; maintains literature database; assists in summarizing data and manuscript preparation. Assists in gathering information and preparation of extension materials such as presentations, handouts, posters, displays, etc. Takes photos and videos of all aspects of the research which includes experimental setup, experimental results, insects, plants, and damage. This requires taking pictures/videos on the microscope, outside, and indoors and includes macro and microphotography.
Trains and supervises temporary laboratory and field assistants in experimental setup, plant and insect maintenance, data collection and laboratory maintenance. Provide assistance and guidance to graduate students, visitors and postdocs on their research projects which include procurement of supplies, experimentation, and insect and plant maintenance.