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Current Openings

The Kapheim Lab is recruiting a Ph.D. student for Fall 2018 to study maternal effects in solitary bees. This student will be encouraged to develop her/his own research program with the overarching goal of understanding the molecular mechanisms and phenotypic consequences of transgenerational effects. Students working on the project will receive training in field biology, physiology, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach and extension activities. Please see for more information.


The Pearse lab is looking for a PhD student with experience in plant community ecology or evolutionary biology to start in my lab at Utah State University. The PhD will combine fieldwork and modelling, is fully-funded, and includes money to travel to conferences and working groups. More details and application instructions are available online ( I will review applications as they come in on a first-come-first-served basis. Will Pearse is happy to answer any questions over email (


The Bernhardt lab is recruiting highly qualified individuals for graduate study (M.S./Ph.D.) spring/fall 2018. Research areas include molecular evolution of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and sand flies, fitness costs associated with insecticide resistance, and evaluating field profiles. Preferred qualifications include a background in evolution, molecular biology, entomology, genomics, and the ability to work in a collaborative environment. Students are funded by teaching assistantships, but are strongly encouraged to apply for graduate research funding and doctoral dissertation improvement grants. Before applying, contact Dr. Scott Bernhardt ( with your interest.

The Bobeck lab is currently looking for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to study the neurobiology of pain and opioid tolerance and addiction using imaging, molecular, and behavioral techniques. Candidates with experience in these areas are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information see and email Dr. Erin Bobeck ( your CV, research interest statement, and contact information for 3 references.


The Ramirez Lab at Utah State University seeks a highly qualified and motivated individual wishing to pursue a graduate degree in the areas of applied entomology, biological control, and insect phenology and behavior beginning summer (preferably) or fall 2018. The successful applicant will investigate ecological interactions with biological control agents and chemical control as it relates to billbug phenology and behavior in the West and the suppression of this soil herbivore in turfgrass. The project is a collaborative effort with the University of Missouri and Purdue University.

Required qualifications include a background in entomology, ecology, plant sciences, agriculture, or related field, experience with field research, exposure to statistics, and an ability to work in a collaborative environment. The graduate assistantship includes an annual stipend and tuition waiver.

Want to know more? Contact Dr. Ricardo Ramirez ( Want to apply? Please provide a CV/resume (include GPA and GRE scores), a statement of purpose, and contact information for three references in your email. Review of applications will begin December 10, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.

Utah State University is a land-grant institution located in Logan, UT. Learn more about USU biology at and the Ramirez Lab at


We are currently recruiting for PhD students in the lab to start in the 2017 academic year. We are an inter-disciplinary lab, studying the interactions between community ecology and evolutionary biology using cutting-edge statistical techniques. We are looking for two students: one with experience in ecological and/or evolutionary modelling, and another with experience in plant ecology and fieldwork. These positions are fully-funded, and include money to travel to conferences and working groups. Click here to find out more information and apply or email (


Two PhD and one MS graduate student assistantships are available in the Ecology Center and the Department of Biology at Utah State University, Logan, UT, beginning summer or fall 2016, as part of a USDA-AFRI project examining how soil microbial growth efficiencies (MGE) are influenced by drought in rangeland and agro-ecosystems. Soil microbial growth efficiency (aka carbon-use efficiency) is a key variable regulating greenhouse gas emissions from soil, as well as rates of carbon and nutrient sequestration and release. Biogeochemical models are extremely sensitive to variation in MGE, yet we have a poor understanding of how environmental variables influence MGE. This project will utilize stable isotope techniques to examine how variation in soil moisture regulates MGE in sagebrush steppe, irrigated pasture, and conventional and organic cropland ecosystems. The ideal applicant will have: background in soil science, microbial or plant ecology, biogeochemistry, or a related area; good chemistry and quantitative skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; and the ability to work closely with others and independently at field sites. Interested individuals should send a CV to John Stark (, Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT.


The Waring lab is recruiting graduate students to work on projects related to plant-soil interactions and soil biogeochemistry. Applicants should have a strong research interest in plant-soil feedbacks, mycorrhizal ecology, and/or soil carbon cycling. Research in the Waring lab takes place in a diverse array of ecosystems, from semiarid grasslands to tropical forests, and is highly interdisciplinary, spanning plant, microbial, and ecosystem ecology. Candidates with lab or field experience in any of these areas are strongly encouraged to apply. The Waring lab is located at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, a beautiful town with easy access to many amazing parks and Salt Lake City. For inquiries about the position, please contact ( with a cover letter and CV.


Graduate positions are available in the research group of Dr. Noelle G. Beckman in the Department of Biology and Ecology Center at Utah State University. The Beckman Lab investigates interactions between plants and their environment occurring over multiple scales and examines the role of these interactions in limiting plant populations and maintaining biodiversity. Many of these interactions are disrupted by global change, and we examine the consequences of these disruptions for plant communities and ecosystem functions. The research group uses a combination of empirical and quantitative approaches to address our research questions. Examples of ongoing projects include: 1) synthesizing data with mathematical models to predict extinction risk of plant species to climate change, 2) understanding the importance of seed dispersal under global change, and 3) examining the influence of dispersal and plant consumers on plant spatial patterns. Before applying, interested candidates should contact Dr. Beckman (noelle.beckman AT with a letter of interest, CV, and contact information for two references. The Beckman Lab is committed to building a diverse and inclusive environment. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. More details about the position 


A PhD position is available in the Beckman Lab in the Biology Department & Ecology Center at Utah State University to investigate macroevolutionary patterns of trait variation in leaves, fruit, and seeds of trees and shrubs in Panama using a metabolomics approach. Plants experience simultaneous and often conflicting selective pressures from a diversity of antagonists and mutualists that feed on different plant parts at different stages of development. Yet, the large body of theory developed to understand plant defense has focused almost exclusively on leaves and leaf herbivores, with little integration of the important interactions in other parts, such as fruits. This project aims to extend leaf defense theory to better understand patterns of trait variation and interactions that occur across leaves, fruits, and seeds. An ideal candidate would have prior experience working with tropical plants or conducting chemical analyses; experience working with UPLC is a plus. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Beckman (noelle.beckman AT with a letter of interest, CV, and contact information for two references. In your letter, include a description of your research interests and why you are interested in joining the research group as well as a summary of your prior research experience and your academic background (e.g., relevant coursework). The Beckman Lab is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. More details about the research group and applying are available here:


Post-doc, PhD, and MS positions are available in the Department of Biology at Utah State University, Logan, on a USDA project examining how soil microbial growth efficiencies are influenced by drought in rangeland and agro-ecosystems. For more information, contact John Stark (


We are seeking a post-doctoral researcher to participate in a project examining microbial mechanisms of soil carbon stabilization across large environmental gradients in Utah. The project is aimed at understanding how microbial physiology (carbon use efficiency and enzyme production) and community structure impact long-term fate of litter-derived carbon in mineral soil. The position is for one year with the likelihood of extension up to 2 years total.

Detailed information here.

Research Opportunities for Graduate Students

This funding is available for all degrees, MS and PhD in Biology and Ecology. For more information see .