Post Doctoral Fellow Entomology at South African Sugar Association

  • Contract Intermediate position

  • Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal

  • Market Related salary

  • Job 2177212 | Ref 1356

  • Posted 09 Jan 2018 by South African Sugar Association

About the Position

The South African sugar industry recognises that the maintenance of biosecurity is central to industry sustainability and to this end, conducts extensive research into the development of integrated pest management practices for several sugarcane pests. This need is particularly acute in the SA industry due to the contiguous eastern border of the sugarcane growing regions with other countries, which presents a number of biosecurity challenges. In addition to the existing challenge posed byEldana(African sugarcane borer), several new pests have emerged recently: sugarcane thrips; yellow sugarcane aphid; and longhorn beetle. A further potential biosecurity threat also exists in the form of another sugarcane borer (Chilo) that is present in Mozambique.

Within this context, the industry is seeking a recent entomology doctoral graduate with expertise in applied insect population and community ecology to:

  • join a team of entomologists conducting research and development aimed at developing IPM approaches for multiple insect pests;

  • lend particular expertise in the gathering, analysis and modelling of extensive industry pest prevalence data to understand the conditions that permit densities of pest insects to exceed critical threshold levels and develop tactics to modify those conditions; and

  • provide support and training to the SASRI Biosecurity Inspectorate and to growers through the SASRI Extension Service.

    The SA Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI), which is operated by the sugar industry as a Division of the SA Sugar Association, is ideally suited to an entomologist who aspires to making a positive contribution to this prominent sector of the SA agriculture landscape while establishing a strong science career founded on research excellence. Publication of research findings in reputable science journals, supervision of post-graduate students and establishment of local and international research collaborations are actively encouraged.

The ideal candidate should have:

  • a PhD in entomology, with a focus on applied insect population ecology;

  • a publication record indicative of an individual at the early-stage of their science career;

  • interest in gaining experience and establishing a career in a commodity crop industry environment; and

  • proven experience in advanced statistical techniques.

In addition, due to the SA Sugar Industry's commitment to the sustainability of small-scale and land reform sugarcane grower communities, a commitment to working with these grower sectors will be viewed as a further advantage.

Application process:

Please apply on-line via the job portal on the SASA website (

Closing date for applications: Wednesday, 24 January 2018

SASA reserves the right to consider applications received after this date but will not be obliged to do so.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • communicate information & ideas verbally
  • advise on pest and disease control measures
  • collection and analysis of physiological data
  • Analyse and interpret data


  • integration of multi-functional elements comprising crop performance
  • conceptualise new projects and draft project proposals


  • causes of insect outbreaks and research methods to control them
  • designing research projects to address emerging challenges for farmers

About The Employer

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) provides a diverse range of highly specialised services to the South African sugar industry and our activities are funded in the main by the sugarcane growers and sugar milling companies. Our mission is to provide specialist services that enhance the profitability, global competitiveness and sustainability of the South African sugar industry.

Employer & Job Benefits

  • Join our research institute and support sugarcane farmers in enhancing crop performance through developing and advising on best practices in respect of pest management.

Apply online
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Expires in 22 days

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