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  • Posted: Mar 22, 2023
    Deadline: Apr 6, 2023
  • Never pay for any CBT, test or assessment as part of any recruitment process. When in doubt, contact us

    Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, icipe was established in 1970, to address this very paradox of insects and accompanying challenges. The Centre’s mission is to use insect science for sustainable development, to ensure food security and improve the overall health of communities in Africa by addressing the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, lo...
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    Postdoctoral Research - Arthropod Microbiome Research

    icipe seeks to recruit an outstanding, dynamic and self-motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellow to complement arthropod microbiome research in the Environmental Health Theme, with active collaboration with the Human Health Theme, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics Unit, and icipe’s One Health agenda. The candidate should have broad experience in the function of microbiomes in arthropods in diverse ecosystems to enhance animal, environment, human and plant health within the context of one health, in addition to contributing to growing new bioeconomy products from microbes. The candidate should be able to develop and deploy their capabilities to support various programmes and projects, including forging external partnerships with like-minded institutions in the field. S/he will be involved in strategic planning as well as a host of continuous improvement initiatives that will prepare the Centre for tomorrow’s challenges and support the achievement of the vision and mission of the Centre

    Overall purpose of the job

    Reporting to the Head, Environmental Health Theme, the successful applicant will be responsible for:
    Exploring symbiont biodiversity, functionality, and complexity in arthropods contributing to ecosystem services (including pollinators, edible insects, and natural enemies) and impacting on their pest/vector status.
    Developing predictive capabilities of microbiome function in relation to arthropods and their effects in a wide range of environments.
    Conducting multidisciplinary and integrative analysis of microbiome functions and their interactions with host and environment within the context of One Health.

    Specific duties

    The successful candidate is expected to:

    • Use cutting-edge sequencing and bioinformatic techniques to assess the biodiversity of microbiomes associated with arthropods.
    • Assess co-diversification and interactions between arthropods, their primary symbionts, their secondary facultative symbionts, and their gut microbiota.
    • Test transfer of symbionts between arthropod species and the role of host genes in regulating symbiosis in addition to coordination of gene expression and content between symbiont and host.
    • Assess the role of symbionts in cytoplasmic incompatibility, fitness, behaviour and paternal transmission of natural enemies.
    • Investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning these phenotypes using a variety of techniques (RNA-seq, proteomics and microbial genetics).
    • Decipher the functions of gut microbiome in arthropods, their metabolites on nutritional status, and their interaction with diet.
    • Explore the gain/loss of microbe-host association in arthropods in relation to phylogenetic history and correlate with internal and external environmental changes.
    • Assess changes in gut microbiomes in relation to changes in biotic or abiotic factors (e.g. invasion, climate and host plants) and their impact on ecosystem service contribution.
    • Develop standards, protocols, and reference materials for microbiome research and development at icipe.


    • PhD in Entomology, with expertise in insect microbiome research.
    • Proven track record in the area of beneficial insect health research for development, as demonstrated by publication record.
    • Evidence of securing external funding to support research.
    • Ability to create and foster an innovative work environment, and team building to deliver on agreed goals.
    • High degree of organisation, adaptability, and prioritisation.
    • Skills in behavioural assays, electrophysiology, mass spectrometry, molecular techniques and working with beekeeper/sericulture farmers.
    • Excellent publication track record.
    • Experience in capacity building through mentorship of MSc and undergraduate students.
    • Excellent communication skills

    Method of Application

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