Research Opportunity: Microbial ecology research experience

Do you wonder how the biology and chemistry of the planet interact to fill your world with the beauty you see? Are you curious about the earth’s cycles work and how humans are impacting them? If so, the fields of biogeochemistry and microbial ecology would interest you!


I am seeking two students to join my lab to work with me on (1) a permafrost microbiome study and (2) molecular work for an agroecosystem soil health study.

  1. The Arctic is experiencing unprecedented changes to the landscape due to climate warming. You and I will work to address changes to Arctic permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, and the microorganisms that inhabit it. Your role (at least initially) will be to assemble and manage a database of microbial genomic data (don’t worry- I’ll show you how). There will be an opportunity to learn bioinformatics and/or advanced statistical methods if desired. Experience or study in microbiology, ecology, or computer science is a plus, but it not required. 
  2. We rely on agroecosystems for our food, clothing, and other resources, so it is important that these systems remain healthy. You and I will work to answer questions about the microbial contribution to soil health by studying local agricultural soils. Your responsibilities will include standard molecular techniques, including making buffers, preparing qPCR standards, and performing PCR. You will also have the opportunity to help me establish a new method for stable isotope probing of microbial biomolecules if desired. Research experience or coursework in microbiology and molecular techniques is required. I will train you for the soils work and stable isotope probing work.

If the students desire, both will also have the opportunity to do local field work. 

Start Date: 
Monday, October 30, 2017
Work Type: 
For Credit
Thesis Project
Research Areas: 
Natural Resources