Position: A postdoctoral position is available in the Evans Lab (www.saraheevanslab.weebly.com) at Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) to examine microbial community function in managed systems at the KBS Long Term Ecological Research (LTER). The site has a long history of ecological research, and the postdoc would work on ongoing projects within the theme of resilience to global change in managed systems. These include: eco-evolutionary microbial responses to changes in rainfall patterns, particularly microbial traits that influence N-cycling; the effect of microbial agricultural amendments on plant and soil drought resilience; and changes in rhizosphere microbial function and N-cycling in perennial bioenergy systems. Existing samples and data from the site describing soil function, microbial communities, N cycling, and plant dynamics can be leveraged to increase the impact of this research.
Qualifications: A PhD in an appropriate discipline is required, as is demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills. Skillsets relevant to the position are the following: quantitative PCR, primer design, RNA extraction, stable isotope probing, culture isolation and assessment of plant growth-promotion, greenhouse experimentation, and metagenomic analysis (amplicon or shotgun).
Start date and salary: The postdoctoral appointment is for one year, and renewable annually for at least 2 years, after which is contingent on funding. Start date range is October 2018-January 2019; please describe preferred start date and/or constraints in the cover letter.
To apply: You will need a 1) cover letter (including research accomplishments, future research interests and directions, and relevant field, lab, and data analysis skills), 2) CV, 3) a representative publication (published or in press), and 4) contact information (name, position, phone, email) for three references. Apply online at careers.msu.edu, posting number 524665.
MSU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, first-generation college students, and persons underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply. We will start reviewing applications September 13, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates wishing to apply after this date can email firstname.lastname@example.org to see whether the position is still open.
The Evans Lab: (www.saraheevanslab.weebly.com): is interested in topics ranging from microbial community biogeography and assembly to the role of microbes in global carbon cycling and plant growth. To investigate these questions, we use molecular techniques, physiological assays, modeling, and terrestrial climate manipulations. The lab is currently a vibrant and supportive community of graduate students and lab technicians/managers and undergraduates. The Evans Lab strives to create a diverse environment that supports individuals regardless of cultural background, race, orientation, or ethnicity.
Kellogg Biological Station (www.kbs.msu.edu) is a premier biological research station located ~65 miles from the main campus of Michigan State. It is home to 11 faculty and their graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, with interests ranging from biogeochemistry to community ecology to evolution, as well as full-time research staff, visiting research scientists, and many summer undergraduates. The KBS LTER program (www.lter.kbs.msu.edu) aims to understand the ecology of Midwest cropping systems and agricultural landscapes, examining interactions among plants, microbes, insects, management, and the environment to understand fundamental ecological questions and how agriculture can provide both high yields and environmental outcomes that benefit society
Postdoc development: KBS and the Evans Lab are committed to postdoctoral research career development. The postdoc will have professional development opportunities in the form mentoring, teaching, grant writing, public communication and others, while working on highly collaborative research projects.
Graduate student information - ongoing
I am always looking for talented graduate students. The deadline for admissions to enroll for graduate school at MSU is around December 15. I do not have any specific openings for graduate students at this time, but am always looking for good candidates.
Students who wish to join my lab should have an interest in microbial ecology. This website should give you a good general idea of what we do, but we are always developing new projects, and are open to exploring new areas that you are interested in, within our general themes. A thorough background in ecology or microbiology, or experience with data analysis, lab work, or field work, will come in handy, but is not required to join the lab. You should, however, have enough experience to know that you are passionate about science and ecology, and have a general willingness to learn and take on new challenges. A PhD generally takes 5-6 years to complete, and a masters 2-3 years. Much of this time is dedicated to independent work which demands a great deal of self-motivation and rigor. As an advisor, I will help you develop the intellectual and technical skills you need to be an outstanding scientist, and prepare you for whatever you aim to do with your degree.
Details for applying: I am in the degree-granting program of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB), but you will apply to a department graduate program. I am in the Department of Zoology, and also will be an affiliate of Microbiology. Students should apply to one of these programs, which differ a bit in class/program requirements and teaching opportunities. You can join the EEBB program later on if you wish. Graduate students are generally funded by a combination of research assistantships (grants), teaching assistantships, university fellowships, and national fellowships.
Location: I am based at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station, located in Hickory Corners, about 60 miles from the main campus in East Lansing. Most graduate students spend their first year or two on MSU campus while they take classes, and live at KBS after that and during the summer. KBS is more like a campus than a field station, with 13 full-time faculty, and many more postdocs, graduate students, staff, and other researchers. Adjacent to a large lake and nestled in Michigan forest, KBS has top-notch laboratories, acres of field sites, and many talented faculty from diverse areas of ecology and evolution.
If you are interested in joining the lab, please contact me. **It is generally best to contact a graduate advisor before you apply to a program.** Attach a CV or resume. Also include a brief statement about your interests and why you want to join the Evans Lab. Take a stab at describing examples of your interests or background and how it aligns with specific publications, themes, or projects in my lab (i.e. beyond just 'microbial ecology and ecosystem stress').
KBS is a great place to spend a summer working as an undergradute! Students at MSU: note that my research lab is 1 hour 15 minutes from main campus, so it will be difficult for you to work or volunteer in the lab if you do no have large blocks of time to get here (which most don't while taking classes). Fortunately, there are many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved at research at Kellogg Biological Station in the summer months. Working at a field station can be a great way to see what field biology is like, and a lot of fun! Check out the KBS website for opportunities. Plan early- REU and URA applications for summer research are due in late winter.
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