The Lemoine Lab is seeking two PhD students for Fall 2022

The Lemoine Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Marquette University (www.marquette.edu/biology, www.natelemoine.com) is recruiting two PhD students starting Fall 2022.

One student will be supported on an NSF-funded project examining how elephant carcasses influence insect herbivory in African savannas. Research will require two research trips per year (fall, spring) to Kruger National Park, South Africa, to work with an international team of researchers to determine how elephant carcasses affect insect diversity, herbivory, and population dynamics. Experiments will consist of both field experiments in Kruger National Park, and laboratory experiments conducted in conjunction with the South African Environmental Observation Network. Students will contribute to the NSF project while developing their own dissertation related to insect ecology of African savannas. Because this work occurs abroad, students must be independent, self-motivated, and able to work in remote, adverse field conditions that lack amenities. When not in Africa, the student will also be expected to work with insect collections at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The student will have access to extensive lepidopteran and coleopteran research collections at MPM, as well as plant growth, insect rearing, and genetic research infrastructure at MPM (http://www.mpm.edu/research-collections). The student will be encouraged to use MPM collections to address pressing issues in the ecology and evolution of insects with respect to global change. The ability to pass a rigorous background check to gain access to MPM collections is required for this position.

The student will be required to advance the broader impacts of the research by working with a videography team, local students at South African institutions, and undergraduate interns at Utah State University to a) facilitate the production of a documentary video for an international audience and b) collaboratively produce several educational pieces for K-12 and college audiences (e.g., lectures and educational videos) with undergraduate interns.

The second student will be supported on an NSF-funded project examining the role of insects in grassland nutrient cycling throughout Wisconsin. Research will require extensive summer fieldwork in prairies across southern Wisconsin to answer two questions: 1) To what extent do insects contribute to belowground processes (nutrient availability, soil respiration, microbial community composition) in prairies? and 2) How does the presence of insects alter the consequences of drought on belowground processes. Experiments will consist of both summer field experiments as well as winter laboratory experiments. Because this work requires extensive travel and fieldwork, students must be independent, self-motivated, and willing to work in adverse field conditions. The student will also be expected to work with insect collections at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The student will have access to extensive lepidopteran and coleopteran research collections at MPM, as well as plant growth, insect rearing, and genetic research infrastructure at MPM (http://www.mpm.edu/research-collections). The student will be encouraged to use MPM collections to address pressing issues in the ecology and evolution of insects with respect to global change. The ability to pass a rigorous background check to gain access to MPM collections is required for this position.

The student will be required to advance the broader impacts of the research by working with MPM to develop a field guide to common moths of the Great Lakes region.

How to apply: Those interested in applying are encourage to contact myself, Dr. Nathan Lemoine (nathan.lemoine@marquette.edu), with a 1-2 page cover letter and CV. Suitable candidates will be encourage to apply online at www.marquette.edu/grad/programs-biological-sciences.php. Applicants will need official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional goals and aspirations. Interested students are encourage to contact me to set up an informal virtual meeting.

Stipend: A $23,000 9-month salary, and additional summer support of $7,000.

Qualifications: Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, or a related discipline (math/stats also acceptable). Experience with statistics programming (R, Python, Matlab) is desirable, but not required. The most qualified applications will have good written skills, be independent, exhibit strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, and be able to work outdoors in sometimes adverse conditions. Applications should have a strong interest in entomology, specifically orthoptera and lepidoptera. The candidates must meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States a the time of hiring.

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