Postdoctoral position to study of plant-insect interactions in tropical forests

Position Summary: Three Postdoctoral Scholar position are available immediately in the Institute of Chemistry at the University of São Paulo, and/or in the Institute of Biology at the University of Campinas. We seek talented and highly motivated scientists with a keen interest in the study of plant-insect interactions in tropical forests.

The ecology and evolution of herbivores and parasitoids associated with the rich genus Piper (Piperaceae) will be studied via experiments, observational data, and mathematical models. The work includes quantification of interactions between metabolite diversity, taxonomic diversity, and herbivory, as well as mechanisms of herbivore sequestration and biotransformation of secondary metabolites. The successful candidate will join a group that is continuing long term research on chemical diversity and insect interaction diversity among Piper plants.

The collaborative project involve partnership with Lee Dyer (University of Nevada Reno, USA) and several colleagues. NSF (USA) and FAPESP (Brazil) fund the project for the period 2015-2020. Post-doctoral fellowships are available for 24 months renewable for additional 12 month. The stipend from FAPESP is R$ 6.143,40/month (about US$ 2,000/month).

Responsibilities: Under guidance of the Principal Investigators (Massuo J. Kato at USP and André V. L. Freitas at UNICAMP), the Postdoctoral Scholars will be expected to conduct both, field and laboratory research, design and evaluate experiments, develop new approaches to  advance current research projects, and also mentor undergraduate/graduate students. Additional responsibilities include the preparation of manuscripts for publication, attend and give seminars, and assist with the maintenance of laboratory operations.

Minimum Qualifications: PhD degree in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or related research field with experience in one of the topics: metabolomics (mass spectrometry- and NMR-based approach), electroantennograph, plant-insect interactions and/or molecular ecology and systematics.

Excellent problem solving, and oral and written communication skills as well as interpersonal skills with experience working within a team. Commitment to cultural diversity, workplace health and safety principles.

Preferred Qualifications: Experience in chemical ecology, metabolomics, genomics/transcriptomics-based gene discovery is a strong asset. Familiarity with the supervision of students and technicians is preferable.

Candidates should submit a cover letter (not later than june 30th), CV, a short (1-2 page) statement addressing the above selection criteria, and contact information for three referees (all in one PDF) For additional questions, please contact Massuo J. Kato (  – phone: +55 (11) 3091-1886; e-mail: or André V. L. Freitas (  – phone: +55 (19) 3521-6310;