Researchers Link Fungicides, Bumblebee Decline

Several bumblebee species have seen their ranges contract and some may face extinction due to several combined stressors, say ecologists Lynn Adler, professor of biology, and her former postdoctoral fellow Scott McArt, with others. Their recent analysis, one of the few to explore the relative importance of multiple factors, found unexpectedly that greater use of fungicides was the strongest predictor of range contraction in declining bumblebee species.

Crosby, Irschick Co-Direct New UMass Center for Evolutionary Materials

Polymer scientist Al Crosby and functional biologist Duncan Irschick, the inventors of the gecko-inspired adhesive, Geckskin, are co-directors of a new, system-wide UMass Center for Evolutionary Materials. It is intended to be a home for researchers from many fields who are interested in pursuing bio-inspired technologies to create new designs and products to benefit people and the environment.

Irschick explains that he and Crosby, inspired by the scientific and intellectual richness of their own collaboration and the success of Geckskin, want to see a center that will “engage people on a deep level of bio-inspiration, not as a buzz word but as a kind of intellectual playground for unstructured creativity. Such centers can be useful to foster collaborations.”

Normark comments on new findings on asexual reproduction

Benjamin Normark, Biology, was interviewed by media about a new study on Diploscapter pachys, a tiny roundworm has developed an asexual way to copy its genes that also leads to enough minute mutations to allow it to adapt but not cause crippling defects.

Podos elected President of the Animal Behavior Society

Jeff Podos was elected to serve as 2017-18 President of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS), which is the principal scientific society for this discipline in the Western Hemisphere. The Animal Behavior Society, together with its European sister society, the Association for the Study of Behavior, edits and publishes the discipline’s flagship journal, Animal Behaviour. The main duty of the ABS President is to chair the society’s executive committee, which is responsible for arranging the annual ABS conference, running student research and travel award competitions, selecting distinguished researchers for society awards, and supporting society members across the hemisphere in research, education, and outreach.

Lecturer Position

Faculty Position in Biology
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Department of Biology (www.bio.umass.edu/biology) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks a full-time non-tenure track Lecturer to coordinate and direct the first-year biology laboratory experience for life science majors. The primary responsibilities of this position include:
• designing and implementing undergraduate laboratory experiences with an emphasis on an inquiry-based and/or CURE (course-based undergraduate research experience) curriculum that can accommodate up to 1200 students,
• directing and supervising instructional support staff in all aspects of lab preparation and delivery,
• implementation of evidence-based pedagogical approaches,
• contributing to the lower division life sciences curriculum.

This is an academic year, benefited 2-year position and is renewable contingent upon performance. Lecturers at the University of Massachusetts are unionized with the potential for long-term careers with promotional advancement within the Lecturer ranks. Lecturers in Biology are dedicated to ongoing improvement of the lower division life science curriculum.

A Ph.D. in Biology or a closely-related field is required and postdoctoral experience is preferred. It is preferred that the successful candidate will have experience teaching in a lower division undergraduate laboratory curriculum for life-science majors with a role beyond that of graduate teaching assistant. Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience. The candidate will be expected to begin in the fall semester of 2018.

Online applications should include curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching philosophy and interests, and include the contact details for three references. Review of applications will begin January 15, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Electronic applications are to be submitted at

URL: http://umass.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=92078

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system, is a nationally ranked public research university and home to over 22,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students. UMass Amherst, along with Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, is a member of the Five College Consortium and the Academic Career network. The 1,430 acre campus is located in the scenic Pioneer valley of western Massachusetts and boasts a rural setting with easy access to Boston, Hartford, and New York City. Amherst is nestled between the Berkshire Mountains, Holyoke Range and Pelham Hills providing many recreational opportunities.

The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University's goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual's record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic degree and career.