Tag Archives: Plants

Plant Disease Ecology Field Assistants

The Mitchell lab at UNC-CH is seeking two full-time field assistants to help conduct research in plant disease ecology in the summer and fall of 2018. Assistants will work on a grant-funded project examining the role of the plant microbiome in pathogen transmission. Most work will be done in the field, but the position will also include work in the lab. Work will include collecting data and plant samples in the field, processing plant samples for lab assays, and culturing fungal pathogens from infected plant material.

Required Qualifications:
a) A valid driver’s license and personal mode of transportation to an off-campus field site
b) Willingness and ability to work early mornings and outdoors in summer heat, inclement weather, and around insects.
c) Ability to work well independently and with a team, pay attention to detail, and maintain exceptional communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:
a) Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
b) Experience conducting field research in ecology
c) Experience with biological laboratory procedures such as pipetting and culturing

Special Physical and Mental Requirements (ADA considerations):
Capacity and willingness to conduct outdoor field work during the daytime hours of summer. Field work will involve long periods of time spent positioning to observe vegetation and will be performed in all weather conditions that do not pose a danger to persons.

Hourly rate: $12.20/hr – Housing not provided.

Start Date: First assistant hired May 14th, second assistant hired June 14th.

Job Duration: 5 – 6 months.

To apply for this position, please visit http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/137278 and be prepared to provide a one-page cover letter, a resume, and contact information for two people who can serve as references.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Summer 2018 Research Technician

Seeking temporary research technician to assist with field survey and status assessment of the aquatic macrophyte Nuphar sagittifolia in eastern North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from May 21-Early August 2018. Position will be approximately 20 hours/week, $10/hr, based at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Duties will be split between field and office work. The goals of the project are 1) To clarify the taxonomic identity of Nuphar populations 2)To assess population genetics of N. sagittifolia populations 3) To document the location, size and status of N. sagittifolia populations to inform conservation decisions.

Responsibilities:
Bridge and kayak surveys for N. sagittifolia populations range-wide,
Collect photographs, leaf tissue for DNA extraction, and voucher
specimens, Data management (photographs, GPS points, field data)
Morphology measurements

Qualifications:
Required: At least two college-level courses in related field (botany,
ecology, forestry, plant systematics, natural resources etc.)
Preferred: Strong interest in botany and conservation biology
Comfort with kayaking (kayak can be provided)
Proficiency in data entry and management
Ability to work independently after training
Ability to accommodate a flexible schedule
Applicants must have a vehicle for surveys (gas costs reimbursed)

Start Date: May 21, 2018
Approximate End Date: Early August 2018. Hours per week may vary due to field conditions or project needs. Position is funded for approximately 11 weeks at 20 hours per week.
Hourly Wage: $10

To Apply:
Submit application, including resume and cover letter, at:
https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/98635. Review of applications will begin April 3; position will remain posted until filled.

Contact Katherine Culatta: keculatt@ncsu.edu with questions

Summer Field Assistant at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Field assistant for summer 2018

Overview: Two research groups at Duke University are seeking a shared research assistant for fieldwork in plant and insect ecology and evolution. This is a unique experience for students enthusiastic about plant ecology to gain experience working on two different projects in one summer! The projects are non-overlapping in time; there is opportunity for leisure time between project dates, or if the technician desires to stay at the field station for the duration of the summer, start dates for project 2 are flexible.

Location: Our research is conducted at and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, located in southwestern Colorado
(www.rmbl.org). We will provide all transportation to and from the
field station and from the station to research sites.

Dates:  June 18-June 29 (project 1) and July 16-August 10 (project 2; somewhat flexible) 2018

For a PDF version of the project descriptions, please visit:
http://bit.ly/RMBLfield18

Project 1 Summary: The time of the year when a plant begins to grow, produces flowers, and loses its leaves is important for successful reproduction, survival, and potentially future growth. Plants rely on environmental cues, such as temperature and the amount of sunlight, to time these life cycle events. Therefore, the time when a plant begins to flower can be very sensitive to climate change. For example, snow has been melting earlier in the season in sub alpine regions than the recent past as a result of warming temperatures. Since the time of flowering for some plants occurs
shortly after snow melt, they track these warm temperatures and emerge or flower earlier in the season. Interestingly, not all plants respond similarly to the same environmental signals; some flowering species do not flower any earlier. As each plant species responds differently to earlier snow melt, species that didn’t flower together in the past have the potential to overlap now. If plant species grow and flower at the same time, they could compete for resources (water, nutrients, soil). Our research examines the link between climate change, the timing of life cycle events in plants, and how they compete for resources. We propose to manipulate flowering phenology of plants in resource competition experiment. We will
observe how competition for soil and light resources between two
co-flowering species changes under early snow melt conditions. The results from this research have the potential to help us predict how climate change may affect species interactions in the future. For more information, visit:
http://rebeccadalt.weebly.com/research-projects.html

Project 2 Summary: In the Mitchell-Olds lab at Duke University
(https://sites.duke.edu/tmolab/), we study plant evolution, ecology, and genetics. We are broadly interested in understanding how the diverse traits present in natural plant populations have arisen via natural selection, and what the consequences of trait variation are for ecological interactions. Much of our research is centered around understanding how chemical anti-herbivore defenses have evolved in the wildflower species Boechera stricta. We have ongoing experiments monitoring how interacting selective pressures of herbivore consumption and drought stress influence the
evolution of defensive chemicals, and for discovering the genetic basis of plant chemistry as well as other complex traits (e.g. flowering time, mutualistic plant-insect associations, plant architecture, fitness). Our technician would help with data collection and experimental maintenance on both of these projects (see “Expectations” below).

Expectations: The field assistant will be asked to aid in data collection, entry, and analysis for both projects. This includes assisting in demographic data collection on perennial plants, assessing phenology of plants in pre-existing plots (project 1) and measuring plant survival, growth, flowering, reproduction, and herbivore damage, as well as taking environmental measurements such as soil moisture (project 2). Fieldwork can be strenuous and often involves long days in the sun and hiking. Applicants with previous experience doing fieldwork are encouraged to apply, but no prior experience is required and we will happily train first-timers with a strong interest in ecology.

In addition to helping with fieldwork five days per week, the technician will be expected to be an active participant in the research community, which includes attending weekly seminars at RMBL, attending in a weekly lab meeting, and participating in discussions about scientific articles and ongoing research projects in the lab.

Compensation: This is an unpaid position, although housing and travel expenses will be provided. Transportation from RMBL to all field sites will be provided (car or hiking).  The technician will be required to pay for their own food expenses, but all other costs (housing and station fees) will be covered.

Application: Please send a short cover letter and resume to both Rebecca Dalton (rmd34@duke.edu) and Lauren Carley (lnc14@duke.edu) by March 20, 2018.

Summer Field Technicians at Hoosier National Forest

Field Technicians: Oak forest regeneration and restoration

Job Description:
We are hiring two technicians to collect field data at sites within the
Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana as part of a collaborative study between Purdue University and the USDA Forest Service.  The goal of the project is to determine how overstory removal, competition control and prescribed fire can be used to regenerate and maintain oak forests.

Duration:
Mid-May to August 2018 (40 hours/week)

Pay:
$11.50 per hour. Housing is included.

Experience and Skills:
The ability to identify woody plants of the Midwest is strongly desired. We also desire basic knowledge of forest measurement practices, experience with backcountry navigation using a topographic map and compass, familiarity with standard equipment including GPS, and experience/training in identifying herbaceous vegetation. Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license.

To apply:
Please email a cover letter describing your qualifications, resume
(including contact information for two references) and unofficial
transcripts to Mike Jenkins (jenkinma@purdue.edu).  We will begin
reviewing applications on April 4, 2018 and will continue until the
positions are filled.

Contact:
Please contact Mike Jenkins if you have any questions about the positions.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is now accepting applications for our 2018 Horticulture Research Internship.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is now accepting applications for our 2018 Horticulture Research Internship.

Job Description

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Horticulture Team is seeking an inquisitive, dynamic, hard-working and enthusiastic research intern who is excited about spending the summer learning the art and craft of horticulture while implementing and completing a plant-based research project. The intern will work in all Garden areas, assisting staff and volunteers with the challenging, hands-on tasks of managing and curating a wide variety of seasonal displays, garden areas, plant collections and departmental initiatives. When not scheduled to conduct research, the intern can expect to weed, rake, groom, prune, plant, mulch and haul debris in seasonal extremes and all weather conditions on a daily basis.

Responsibilities

Research Tasks

  • Work with Director and Manager of Horticulture to execute a summer research project, designed to address a current challenge faced by the Horticulture Department (examples of past topics: water quality monitoring, integrated pest management resources and strategies, food crop production, medicinal plants and benthic macroinvertebrate population surveys)
  • Compile research into a user-friendly resource to share with the department, Garden and guests
  • Prepare and present a report of experience, procedures and findings to Garden staff and guests

Horticulture Tasks

  • Assist horticulturists in all areas of the Garden with wide variety of primary garden care tasks, including planting, mulching, grooming, watering, fertilizing, weeding, etc., using best horticulture practices in accordance with established Garden standards
  • Participate in routine group tasks such as leaf blowing walkways and string trimming weeds
  • Perform routine maintenance on Garden power tools and equipment such as filling gas cans, re-stringing trimmers, cleaning and sanitizing tools, and keeping equipment organized and tidy

To apply, please see the full 2018 Horticulture Research Intern job description and forward a resume and cover letter to George Cowart, Horticulture Manager, at georgec@lewisginter.org

Would you mind pushing out or posting the following the attached job description?

For additional information, please visit the employment page of our website.

 Thank you so much,

Laurel

__

 Laurel Matthew
Senior Horticulturist

804.262.9887, ext. 333 804.929.5857

laurelm@lewisginter.org

1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, VA 23228

Removing Invasive Plants (RIP) Team

Want to give back to your local community?

Want to boost your resume?

Love being outdoors?

The Removing Invasive Plants Team will be removing introduced species in the JAMES RIVER PARK SYSTEM.

We will be working on multiple occasions, so you can participate as much or as little as you want. Transportation to and from the park will be provided.

If interested please contact April Harris at harrisal22@mymail.vcu.edu

Click here to view the flyer

Joseph Morina: Curtin University- Perth, Australia

Joseph Morina:
Curtin University- Perth, Australia

What led you to make the decision to study abroad?

I first learned about the study abroad opportunities by attending a study abroad information session.  After working closely with Stephanie Tignor, I was able to contact Dr. Richard Oliver at Curtin University for a possible study abroad research opportunity. He willingly accepted, and soon enough I was buying my plane ticket for Australia.

What classes did you take while abroad and how would you compare them to taking courses on campus at VCU?

Typically, students are enrolled in multiple classes during their study abroad. However, I spent all of my academic time performing research at the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens (ACNFP) located at Curtin University. Under the guidance of an incredible post-doc, I ran experiments ranging from gene knockout to growing wheat cultivars.

Elaborate on your research experience.

Pathenogenisis of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (PTR)

Plant-pathogen interactions are of extreme importance when dealing with economic crops and ultimately national food stores. Tan spot disease of wheat causes significant economic losses worldwide, and is the most widespread and damaging wheat disease in Australia. The disease is caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr), costing upwards of 212 million dollars in lost yield each year.  The ACNFP at Curtin University has decided to tackle this problem using advanced genetic and molecular biology techniques to study the pathogenicity mechanisms of this fungus. During my study abroad semester, I aided in the identification of novel host-specific toxins produced by different Ptr isolates.

pic

Figure 1 Example of a single cultivar treated with culture filtrate to determine susceptibility.

Other avenues of my research included testing new wheat cultivars with fungal toxins to determine cultivar sensitivity, as well as generating fungal gene knockouts that will be used to characterize candidate toxin genes. The goal of this research project, as with all other research projects undertaken by the ACNFP, is to gain fundamental knowledge of necrotrophic fungal pathosystems in order to reduce the incidence and severity of fungal crop diseases, to help guide growers in cultivar selection, and to develop molecular tools to ultimately breed out disease susceptibility. I thoroughly enjoyed being at the interface of practical and applied science, seeing research results make a direct impact on crop yields was a very rewarding experience.

What were your most memorable experiences while studying abroad?

While in Australia, I traveled up and down the west coast, drinking in the beauty and warmth of the sunburned nation. I got to spend many nights in the Australian outback, falling asleep under the stars. I also got travel to Indonesia, where I dove coral reefs, climbed volcanoes, and visited Hindu temples. I was fortunate to meet people from a multitude of cultures. Many languages were new to my ears. More importantly, I got to try foods that hid flavors I had never tasted before. I still keep in contact with many of the people I met in Perth to this day. I will be traveling with friends from Australia this summer.

What would you say to a student who is considering studying abroad?

Go talk to someone at the GEO today. Take a risk!