ICIPE Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Crop Losses to Pests Modeller) Jobs in Kenya

ICIPE Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Crop Losses to Pests Modeller) Jobs in Kenya

  • icipe is a pan-African and non-profit Centre of Excellence for research and development and capacity building in insect science and its applications. Its mission is to help alleviate poverty, ensure food and nutritional security and improve the overall health status of peoples of the tropics by developing and extending management tools and strategies for harmful and useful arthropods, while preserving the natural resource base through research and capacity building.

  • Since its establishment in 1970, icipe has become a significant contributor to science and innovation required to meet the health and food security challenges of sub-Saharan Africa. The Centre has achieved this status by developing alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management technologies and products that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities.

  • icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with offices in Ethiopia and Uganda, a major station on the shores of Lake Victoria, and several other field stations in Kenya. Employing close to 500 international and national staff, icipe also has approximately 150 graduate students who contribute to its research portfolio annually. The Centre currently has operations in more than 40 African countries, and thriving partnerships with universities and research organizations across the world. (www.icipe.org)

  • icipe seeks to recruit an outstanding and dynamic Postdoctoral Fellow to model crop losses to pests. The candidate will work with the interdisciplinary team at the Data Management, Modelling and Geoinformation (DMMG) Unit. The position is tenable in Nairobi at the icipe Duduville campus. This is a twoyear contract, renewable subject to continued project needs, funding for the position, and performance of
    the staff member. 

  • A competitive and generous compensation package will be offered to the right candidate for the position. Furthermore, the incumbent will receive paid annual vacation, return airfare for themselves and their dependents to their nominated home base each year, and duty-free privileges. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, he or she will be offered support to relocate to the country and settle in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Living in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, with a population of over three million, hosts all urban and social amenities, and offers a comfortable, convenient and pleasurable life. A wide variety of excellent international schools and well-equipped medical facilities are open 24/7 in Nairobi. The city is also accessible by various reputable international airline carriers.

  • Nairobi has a thriving international research scene, hosting various CGIAR centres, as well as several UN agencies. Although it is important to be conscious of security, Kenyans are warm and welcoming of visitors.

    Overall purpose of the job

  • The Postdoctoral Research Fellow is expected to measure crop yield losses to pests, empirically establish crop damage and loss functions, and couple crop and insect models using system dynamics frameworks for analysing and forecasting of crop yield losses to guide preparedness and intervention strategies in selected cropping systems (maize, tomato, etc.). The successful candidate will:

    ▪ Conduct, conceptualise and develop coupled pest-crop models using a
    novel approach based on systems thinking and system dynamics approaches.

    ▪ Establish agroecosystem dynamics modelling for effective conception and selection of adequate pest management methods.

    ▪ Develop and simulate crop damage and loss functions under warming climate, and to assess the impact of pests under various integrated pest and management (IPM) strategies.

    Specific duties

    The successful candidate will undertake the following activities in target projects:

    ▪ Conduct research with a focus on temperature and CO2-dependent potential of insect pests to damage the host plant.

    ▪ Conduct research with a focus on insect and weed damage-dependent yield losses.

    ▪ Develop insect pest population dynamics simulation models.

    ▪ Develop crop models with a process-based dynamic modelling approach focusing on insect and weed damage and yield loss functions.

    ▪ Develop, test, evaluate, and aggregate models related to crop insect pests, disease and weeds.

    ▪ Develop tools and techniques to assist in developing IPM strategies that can lead to prevent crop production losses and ensure minimal insect pest and weed attacks for higher food production.

    ▪ Simulate the effects of different combinations of IPM components and impacts of major insect pests and weeds in maize and tomato etc. cropping systems under warming climate.

    ▪ Contribute to the development of digital plant health services.

    ▪ Actively engage in resource mobilisation and proposal development.

    ▪ Contribute to the overall DMMG Unit workplan and strategy.


    ▪ PhD in crop protection or any related field with a focus on crop yield loss simulation due to insect pests and weeds.

    ▪ Extensive knowledge of and experience in system thinking and system dynamics modelling, with a
    focus on cropping systems modelling, pest-natural enemy interactions, and crop yield losses due to
    pest infestation.

    ▪ At least 1 year’s experience working in crop modelling and yield losses to insect pests using system dynamics modelling approach.

    ▪ Excellent publication record (at least 1 peer-reviewed publication in system dynamics modelling).

    ▪ Extensive knowledge of and experience in crop physiology, biology of insect pest, natural enemies, and plant-insect pest-natural enemies three trophic interactions.

    ▪ Extensive knowledge of and experience in developing two-way feedback system models (pest-crop process-based models).

    ▪ A high degree of organisation, adaptability, and prioritisation.

    ▪ Experience in capacity building through mentorship of MSc and undergraduate students.

    ▪ Excellent communication skills.

    Core competencies

    ▪ Demonstrated experience in VENSIM platform and system dynamics modelling.

    ▪ Demonstrated experience in crop and insect phenology modelling.

    ▪ Experience in designing experiments, collecting and analysing data under control and field conditions.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; ICIPE Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Crop Losses to Pests Modeller) Jobs in Kenya

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