M.S. Assistantship in Soil Insect Ecology and Biogeochemistry

The Soil Insect Ecology Laboratory at Purdue University (Dr. Douglas Richmond) 
seeks a M.S. candidate 
to advance ongoing research focusing on the biogeochemical dimensions of the 
invasive, soil-dwelling 
larval stage of the Japanese beetle (JB). The successful candidate will work as 
part of an 
interdisciplinary team of scientist exploring the impact of insect invasion on 
soil C/N cycling, microbial 
communities and soil organic matter dynamics as part of a USDA-NIFA-AFRI funded 
between Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin. This is a 2-year 
appointment based in West 
Lafayette, IN.

The objectives of the project are to:
1) Quantify the impact of JB on soil CO2 and N2O flux and explore how JB 
influences the quantity and 
quality of soil organic matter. 2) Explore linkages between soil organic matter 
and JB feeding strategy 
using a microscale forensic organic geochemical tool to examine JB gut contents 
and soil particulate 
organic matter 3) Quantify changes in soil microbial diversity (bacteria, 
archaea, and fungi) associated 
with JB invasion, and quantify microbial genes associated with soil C and N 

The successful candidate will work with Drs. Douglas Richmond, Michael Scharf, 
Ronald Turco, and 
Timothy Filley at Purdue University, and Dr. Chris Williamson at the University 
of Wisconsin.

•       Work with Principle Investigators to establish field sites and sampling 
regimes in Indiana and
•       Lead field and laboratory efforts to related directly to objective 1 
and 2.
•       Develop and present (written and oral) products suitable for scientific 
audiences explaining the
        purpose and results of the project.
•       Produce and defend a Master’s thesis based on the described research.
•       Create scientific manuscripts based on research that are suitable for 
publication in soil ecology and
        entomology journals.
•       Participate in scientific meetings and engage with colleagues and 
collaborators pursuing related
        research questions.
•       Provide guidance and assistance to technicians, students, and others 
carrying out related work. 

Preferred Qualifications:
•       B.S. in Biology, Entomology, Ecology, Environmental Science or related 
•       Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work 
within a large interdisciplinary

Preferred start date is Summer 2018. The assistantship provides an annual 
stipend of $20,000 per year 
plus benefits, and graduate tuition and fee remissions totaling $10,400. 
Interested applicants should 
submit a single pdf composed of cover letter, CV, and names and contact 
information for 3 references to 
drichm...@purdue.edu by March 1, 2018. Please use the subject header “JB MS 
assistantship”. The 
cover letter should include (1) a summary of the applicant’s goals (2) the 
applicant’s earliest possible 
start date.

About Purdue University:
The Department of Entomology at Purdue is an integral part of the College of 
Agriculture, one of the 
world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource 
sciences, ranked eighth globally 
in the 2016 QS World University Rankings. The College is deeply committed to 
the three land-grant 
missions (teaching, research, and extension), to international activities and 
perspectives that span all 
missions. The College has 11 academic departments and includes 325 faculty, 
2782 undergraduate 
students, and 690 graduate students. For more information on the Entomology 
Graduate Program, 
Purdue University and West Lafayette, Indiana see: 
http://www.purdue.edu/ and http://www.homeofpurdue.com/

Reply via email to