Postdoc position: Invasion genetics

The Integrative Ecology Lab (iEcoLab) at Temple University is seeking creative and productive applicants for a postdoctoral researcher to lead research into the invasion genetics of the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) pest. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive Asian planthopper that was first introduced to the US just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2014, and has since spread to five nearby states. In addition to natural dispersal, human-assisted dispersal occurs during all lanternfly life stages: adults and nymphs hitchhike on cars and it can spread long distances in the egg stage because it lays eggs on mobile outdoor objects like recreational vehicles and landscaping materials. It feeds on over 70 plant species, sometimes at very high densities, including economically important species like maples, apples, hops, and grapes. Invaded vineyards have lost entire crops, affecting wine production. We are just beginning to understand its ecology and potential to cause economic and ecological impacts, but there is still more to learn. You can be at the forefront of cross-disciplinary research on this emerging invasion.

The postdoctoral researcher will be mentored by Jocelyn Behm ( and will be part of a larger collaborative team of postdocs, graduate students, and faculty at Temple University studying and modeling spotted lanternfly spread and impacts from the labs of Matt Helmus (Biology) and Benjamin Seibold (Math) (for a brief overview of the project see:  The postdoc will also interact with a USDA-funded multi-university team of cross-disciplinary scientists and public stakeholders and will regularly attend working groups and meetings on this invasive pest.  The anticipated start date for the invasion genetics postdoc position is early 2020. The position is for one year, with the possibility of renewal upon satisfactory performance and funding. Salary is commensurate with experience and benefits are included.

The role of the invasion genetics postdoc will be to develop research using microsatellites and/ or whole-genome sequencing to explore the relative contributions of human-assisted versus natural dispersal to spotted lanternfly spread, as well as elucidate dispersal corridors and pathways in its invaded range. There will also be opportunities for the postdoc to develop and pursue additional research questions based on their interests.


  • A PhD in Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics or other related field
  • Expertise in landscape genetic and/or landscape genomic lab and statistical methods
  • A competitive publication record appropriate for career stage
  • Well-organized and able to work both independently and in a team setting

Applications should be emailed to Jocelyn Behm ( Please send as a single PDF:

  • Cover letter outlining qualifications, experience and why you are interested in the position
  • Curriculum vitae including links to authored publications
  • Name, phone number, and email addresses of three references

Review of applications will begin November 22 and will continue until the position is filled.

iEcolLab is in a new LEED-Gold certified building in historic Philadelphia. iEcoLab is part of the Center for Biodiversity, which provides state-of-the-art biodiversity research facilities along with support staff with expertise in media development, GIS technology, high-performance computing, and genetics. Temple University, founded in 1884, is a public R1 university with a diverse student body of ca. 40,000 students. It is the sixth-largest provider of graduate school education in the U.S., is within the top 4% of research institutions in the U.S. and is in the top ten of the fastest gainers in ranking by the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges.

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States. It is filled with numerous attractions (e.g., Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Zoo, Academy of Natural Sciences), amazing food, and it is a quick train ride to New York City and Washington DC. Philadelphia is nestled within an extensive national/state trail and park system and is very close to Valley Forge National Park, the Pocono Mountains, the unique Pine Barren ecosystem, and beaches of the Atlantic shore.

Temple University is an equal opportunity, equal access, affirmative action employer committed to achieving a diverse community. iEcoLab believes the crisis in biological diversity can only be addressed by scientists from diverse backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints. iEcoLab strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds.


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