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MSU Entomology



Website: Keith Mason
copyright 2014

Graduate students
Are you excited about ecology or insects and want to work on a project to help improve insect management in agriculture? If you are an enthusiastic and hard working student interested in working in the Isaacs lab for your entomology MS or Ph.D, I encourage you to contact me at isaacsr "at" msu.edu. I typically have 2-3 students in the lab, working on their independent projects and the main limitation is funding rather than potential research ideas. I take on a new student every 1-2 years, and students are encouraged to contact me early in the academic year ahead of when they might consider entering graduate school. This is partly to determine potential overlap between your research interests and future goals and my lab's future research program, and also because deadlines for funding through the NSF, EPA, USDA, and internal MSU funding sources are typically in November and December. See the People page for a list of current students, and I suggest contacting them to learn more about life in our lab, department, and university.

Undergraduate students
We hire undergraduate students and recent grads during the summer months to work with us at farms and research stations across Michigan, collecting data, sorting samples, and entering data. The ability to drive a stickshift car is a great help, but not essential. A love of the outdoors, willingness to work in a team, and an interest in insects are all positive attributes of students for these jobs. If you are interested in applying, please contact Jason Gibbs to inquire about positions related to pollinators, Keith Mason for positions related to pest management and biocontrol, or Steve Van Timmeren for positions based in west Michigan. Also be sure to check the MSU Venture website for research/employment opportunities.

Postdoctoral positions

Research Associate, Applied Insect Ecology and Behavior
The Michigan State University (MSU) organic pest management (www.opm.msu.edu) and berry crops entomology labs (www.isaacslab.ent.msu.edu) are seeking a postdoctoral research associate to work on applied insect ecology and behavior. Funding for the position is from a multi-state USDA project focusing on alternative pest management tactics for spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in Michigan berry crops. Projects will include: development and testing of attract-and-kill approaches, evaluation of the efficacy and mechanisms of biopesticides, and coordination of ongoing research on this destructive pest. Our labs combine farmer participatory research with laboratory and research station trials. This project will involve collaboration in larger national efforts and will offer regular opportunities for networking and travel.

The position will be based in East Lansing, with opportunities for work at research stations in the main fruit production regions near Lake Michigan. The Department of Entomology provides significant opportunity for collaborative research, and is affiliated with the EEBB program (www.eebb.msu.edu) and with close collaborations with the department of horticulture. The position has a competitive salary and benefits package, and the campus and surrounding Lansing region provide a low cost of living plus diverse cultural and sporting amenities.

Primary responsibilities will include: (1) design, execution and analysis of field and laboratory applied ecology and behavior experiments; (2) preparing written reports, including materials suitable for outreach to growers and for publication in peer-reviewed journals; (3) assisting with the preparation of grant proposals; and (4) supervising undergraduate student researchers.

Required: a doctoral degree in entomology, ecology or a related field, demonstrated writing and data analysis skills, and experience managing field-based pest management research projects. Desired skills include: chemical ecology, insect toxicology or insect behavior. 

The position is for one year with reappointment contingent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding. Funding is currently available for two years with the potential for extension.

Applications must be submitted through https://jobs.msu.edu, position posting 2375. Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Please provide two to four recent publications submitted as one PDF file. Questions regarding the position can be sent to grieshop@msu.edu and isaacsr@msu.edu