Kellogg Experimental Forest near Kellogg Biological Station
The Evans Lab is committed to creating a diverse and safe environment that supports individuals regardless of cultural background, race, orientation, or ethnicity.
POSTDOC POSITION OPENING (Posted Dec 14, 2017):
Postdoc examining rhizosphere microbial community ecology, with a focus on bioenergy systems, in the Evans Lab at Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State Univ, Hickory Corners, MI. Application review to begin January 8, 2018.
Position: A postdoctoral position is available in the Evans Lab (www.saraheevanslab.weebly.com) at Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) to examine shifts in microbial community composition and function in bioenergy cropping systems. The postdoc would contribute to two highly interrelated projects. The first is the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a large multi-PI and interdisciplinary project, of which one part is examining the potential of the plant-associated microbiome to sustainably enhance stress tolerance of plants in degraded lands. Work on this project involves investigations into the fundamental mechanisms that underlie plant-microbe interactions and implications of changing management regimes (e.g. fertilizer). The second project, MMPRNT (Microbial Mediated Perennial Rhizosphere Nitrogen Transformations) is a multi-PI DOE-funded project at MSU that examines how the rhizosphere microbiome of perennial grasses influence plant nitrogen availability. This work leverages GLBRC sites, and overlaps in scope. The postdoc could take advantage of powerful time series dataset of community composition already collected (with associated biogeochemical metadata), and interact with a diverse array of high-caliber staff, postdocs, and graduate students working on both projects. In addition to research and career development, a proportion of this position (10%) involves coordination among the two projects (data management, communication, training), and is ideal for a candidate looking for exposure to multi-PI projects, mentoring, and close interactions with several collaborative laboratories (including Shade, Bonito and Tiemann at MSU).
Qualifications: A PhD in an appropriate discipline is required, as is demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills. Experience with bioinformatics and statistical analysis of microbial community composition (i.e. amplicon sequencing) data is strongly preferred. Other skillsets relevant to the project, and that the postdoc could apply or potentially learn, are stable isotope probing, high-throughput quantitative PCR, culture isolation and assessment of plant growth-promotion, greenhouse experimentation, and shotgun metagenomic analysis.
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. Ideal start date is Spring 2018 (preferably January-May 2018); 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. Go to careers.msu.edu to apply and search position #481447. Contact email@example.com with questions. We will begin reviewing applications January 8, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. MSU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, first-generation college students, and persons underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply.
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. KBS is home to the KBS LTER program (www.lter.kbs.msu.edu), the GLBRC, and a new Molecular Ecology and Genomics Laboratory. KBS and the Evans Lab are committed to postdoctoral research career development; providing postdocs with opportunities in mentoring, teaching, and other professional skills.
Graduate student information - onging
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.