Assistant Professor of Entomology – Agricultural Forensics

Assistant Professor of Entomology – Agricultural Forensics

Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Justification: Agricultural forensics can be defined as the use of agriculturally linked sciences in the court of law. Agriculture biosecurity includes food science/safety, prevention of disease outbreaks through crop pest management, plant diagnostics, and animal health- areas that link with entomology and can be applied to the forensic sciences. For the purposes of this position description, the Department of Entomology will be seeking an individual with core forensic applications with potential to bridge with entomology through collaboration. Increased student enrollment in the forensics program mandates expansion of faculty to meet the demand, which will impact certification through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

We seek an individual that can bridge disciplines from across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University through a research program that links areas such as toxicology (e.g., contaminants, insecticides, poisons, toxins) and biotic factors of forensic importance (e.g., genetics, microbiology, botany, plant physiology, animal science). Such an individual would serve as a cornerstone to agricultural forensics, a topic of considerable value to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This individual is expected to partner with colleagues across the college and other university units to explore research relevant to our mission, while also building the groundbreaking reputation of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences undergraduate degree program by expanding forensics beyond its traditional applications such as crime scene investigation and crime laboratory analysts.

Position Title:  Assistant Professor of Entomology – Agricultural Forensics.  Position ID: 24-127545-01-TT

Appointment: This is a tenure-track appointment as an Assistant Professor of Entomology with a specialization on forensic applications in agriculture that can include the fields of genetics, chemistry, toxicology, or other disciplines in support of legal issues in an entomological context. This 9-month appointment has job expectations in Research, Teaching and Service with approximately a 60%, 30% and 10% distribution of effort, respectively; however, the appointment may change in accordance with Departmental needs. The position will be based in College Station, TX.

General Duties and Responsibilities:

The faculty member will have primary responsibility for developing a nationally recognized, extramurally funded research program focused on issues of national and global forensic importance in agriculture with an emphasis on new discoveries and methodologies that have significant positive impacts on scientific disciplines associated with criminal and civil investigations. The incumbent will be expected to develop strong ties with other faculty at Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M state agencies that include AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, Texas Apiary Inspection Service, and the Texas Veterinary and Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, both within and outside the Department of Entomology.

A 30% teaching appointment in Entomology is defined by the Department as teaching 9 fixed-credit hours over two years. To fulfill this appointment, FIVS/ENTO 431/432 The Science of Forensic Entomology/Applied Forensic Entomology (Lab) will be taught annually and FIVS 425 Forensic Toxicology will be taught biennially, while a third course will be assigned based on the expertise and interests of the selected candidate. Assignment of courses is done by the Department Head in consultation with the Associate Department Head for Academic Programs.

The Department offers two baccalaureate degrees, one in Entomology (ENTO) and one in Forensic and Investigative Sciences (FIVS). Graduate degrees include M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Entomology and individual faculty are affiliated with university wide interdisciplinary degree programs that include genetics, neurobiology, biotechnology, and ecology & evolutionary biology. Teaching also involves mentoring undergraduate researchers, M.S. and Ph.D. students, and post-docs, as appropriate, and is expected of all faculty. Department, College, University, and Professional service appropriate to an individual’s talents and skills are required of all faculty.

Facilities:  Biocontrol Facility or Minnie Belle Heep, depending on the needs of candidate.

Other Opportunities.  

Substantial opportunities exist for the appointee to utilize the resources of Texas A&M University. The appointee will have opportunities to engage with a variety of interdisciplinary research programs, including the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate program, the Whole Systems Genomics Initiative, the Vector Biology Research Group, the Institute for Neuroscience, and Texas A&M University’s Institute for Genome Sciences.

Salary: Salary will be commensurate with the incumbent’s qualifications and experience. A generous benefits package accompanies all faculty positions with respect to access to health care, sick leave, and retirement benefits (see: A competitive start-up package will be provided.

Administrative Relationships: Supervision will be provided by the Department Head of Entomology, and ultimately the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Each faculty member is expected to exhibit collegiality to all faculty, staff, students, clientele groups, and local administrators. Faculty are expected to cooperate and collaborate with faculty as appropriate for the successful execution of their general duties and responsibilities in support of the Department’s mission, goals, and code of conduct.

Qualifications: Ph.D. or equivalent degree in entomology, chemistry, toxicology, genetics, molecular biology, and/or microbiology or related biological field is required and must be completed prior to the date of the appointment to the faculty. Candidates should have a strong record of scholarly achievement including peer-reviewed publications. It is highly desired that the selected candidate will have demonstrated success in securing grants or a strong potential to secure extramural funding. Desired qualifications include training and experience both in chemistry, instrumentation (e.g., Mass Spectrometry), toxicology, genetics, or other fields that enhance the investigation of forensics as associated with criminal and civil investigations related to agriculture (e.g., contamination, poisoning, genetics, patented organisms, rural-urban interfaces, brand alteration). Areas of interest for the Department include broad scale pesticide use or waste production resulting in contamination of land, air, or water (e.g., food or feed security), as well as impacts on human, livestock, poultry, or wildlife health. Additional desired qualifications include experience teaching at the undergraduate or graduate level and experience in mentoring students. The successful candidate should demonstrate an ability to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams and have excellent written and oral communication skills.

Closing date: Review of applications will begin on 08 January 2024 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Applications are submitted through Interfolio (

Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin, Chair Search and Screen Committee 
Minnie Belle Heep Center Room 412 
College Station, Texas 77843-2475 
Phone: (979) 845-2510


About the University: Texas A&M University, the only institution in the state to hold Land, Sea, and Space Grant status, is a Tier I research university that is committed to strengthening its diversity. Enrollment at TAMU is approximately 77,000 students; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences includes 15 departments and 360 faculty.

About the Community: Texas A&M University is in College Station, TX, which combined with the twin city of Bryan, forms a metropolitan community of approximately 273,000 people with high-quality amenities and a low cost of living.  Cities such as Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Houston are within a comfortable 2–3-hour drive time of College Station. In addition to excellent healthcare, and recreational services, the community affords a rich variety of cultural activities typical of a major university environment, including museums, music, art, and theatre.

Application Process.  Applications must include the following components: (1) a cover letter outlining your interest in the position, (2) Curriculum Vitae, (3) A Personal Statement: Statement must include philosophy and plans for research and teaching, and (4) Names and contact information of three (3) professional references. Please also include any individuals on a do not contact list.  Please provide a complete mailing address, email and phone number, and a brief statement of how each reference knows the candidate. Documents should be submitted in PDF format.

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