Graduate student assistantship to study plant-insect interactions

Hi all! Seeking a grad student to start this summer. Please reach out with any questions!!!

The Plant Sciences department at the University of Wyoming is recruiting a PhD student to conduct research exploring the ecology of plant-insect interactions in cropping systems. The project will focus on plant defenses against the alfalfa weevil and will include both greenhouse and field components. The student will serve as a teaching assistant for both face-to-face classes as well as distance-based online education in the department. This assistantship specifically supports under-represented domestic minority students, specifically American-born or naturalized citizens of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian/Alaskan native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or Asian descent. The student will be mentored in the areas of research, teaching, public outreach, and career development. More broadly, support and community are present at the University through Multicultural Affairs, including the Multicultural Resource Center and a suite of student organizations, and the Women in Math, Science & Engineering (WiMSE) program. In addition to the department’s PhD degree in Agronomy, the University of Wyoming also offers an interdisciplinary PhD program in Ecology.

Required qualifications are a BS in biology, ecology, entomology, and agronomy, or a related field, independent research experience, demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication, and a valid driver’s license, given necessary research travel throughout the state. Preferred qualifications are a MS degree in the fields listed above, and experience and interest in working with plants, insects, and agriculture. Interested applicants should contact Dr. Randa Jabbour with any questions or for information on how to apply (rjabbour@uwyo.edu, 307-766-3439). Application review will begin January 15, 2017. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Preferred start date is May 2017.

The University of Wyoming is located in Laramie, a town of 30,000 in the Rocky Mountains. Located on a high plain between the Laramie and Snowy Range mountain ranges, Laramie has more than 300 days of sunshine a year and near year-round activities including skiing, hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing and climbing. The community provides the advantages of a major university and a distinctive identity as an important city in a frontier state. Laramie is 1-3 hours away from Colorado’s major cities and university communities along the Front Range.

The University of Wyoming offers Graduate Assistantships that are intended to increase access and opportunities to graduate education for U.S. students from under-represented/under-served populations and to increase student diversity in our graduate degree programs on a competitive basis. The University of Wyoming is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or political belief in any aspect of employment or services. For more information see http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/fairness

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Seeking Grad Student!

WYOThe Plant Sciences department at the University of Wyoming is recruiting a graduate student to conduct research exploring ecological interactions involving pests in cropping systems, beginning Summer 2016. Possible topics include biological pest control by natural enemies, farmer decision-making strategies, and the role of non-crop habitats in agricultural landscapes, depending on student interest and background. The student will serve as a teaching assistant for both face-to-face classes as well as distance-based online education in the department. This assistantship specifically supports under-represented domestic minority students, specifically American-born or naturalized citizens of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian/Alaskan native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Asian-American decent and women, who are traditionally under-represented in agronomy. The student will be mentored in the areas of research, teaching, public outreach, and career development. More broadly, support and community are present at the University through Multicultural Affairs, including the Multicultural Resource Center and a suite of student organizations, and the Women in Math, Science & Engineering (WiMSE) program.

Required qualifications are a BS in biology, ecology, agronomy, or a related field, independent research experience, demonstrated excellence in oral and wr itten communication, and a valid driver’s license, given necessary research travel throughout the state. Preferred qualifications are experience and interest in working with insects and agricultural systems, and interest in innovative teaching strategies. Interested applicants should contact Dr. Randa Jabbour with any questions or for information on how to apply (rjabbour@uwyo.edu, 307-766-3439). Applications are due on February 1, 2016. Continue reading

I Dream of Weevils Part 2!

IMG_4979Randa here! I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts from my group this summer. It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally back to add my 2 cents. A few weeks ago, Jemma shared her weevil dreams with you all. I asked her to title it “Part 1” because I knew I had more to add on this topic. I’ve dreamt of my work for as long as I can remember. The different stages of my academic career are defined by whether Collembola were floating by when I closed my eyelids or whether it was squirming Colorado Potato Beetle. So, it came as no surprise when my interns shyly mentioned that they’d been dreaming of alfalfa weevil. Continue reading

Hotel Room Science

A view of Heart Mountain from an alfalfa field in Powell, Wyoming.

After 6.5 hours driving the desolate highways of Wyoming, zig-zagging through dramatically changing landscapes, passing what seems like hundreds of semi-trucks, and persevering through the limited number of rest stops along the way, we finally pull into tourist laden Cody, Wyoming. Albeit beautiful, this time of year Cody is a widely sought after destination for cross-country road trips and a reasonable stop for families visiting Yellowstone National Park. As we begin to unload our field gear into our hotel room, smiling and saying hello to our hotel neighbors, I think to myself- the experience we are about to have in the Big Horn Basin is wildly different than that of all the traveling families sharing this hotel roof. Continue reading

Methods matter?

IMG_4893Alanna Speaking. I have a confession to make. When I read a scientific paper, I (almost always) skip the “Methods” section. Those seven letters are a signal to flip the page, an introduction to the driest, least impactful part of the paper, necessary to writers and publishers, but certainly not to me.

During the week we spent sampling in the Bighorn Basin, Zoe and I found ourselves transported into Methods. Every decision we made, every stroke of the sweep net, photograph and weather call had the potential to affect the results. Continue reading

Hello world!

WYOWelcome to Insect Agroecology. We’re a lab in the department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wyoming focused on the role of insects in the agroecosystem. Here we plan to share with you stories from the field, photos, and research updates. Stay tuned as we begin to kickoff the 2015 field season!