Join the Lab!

Summer Research Assistant positions in the Berry Crops Entomology Lab at MSU

Duration: Late May to late August 2021. Possibility of extension into the fall.

Salary: Full time: 40 hours/week, $14.00/hour

Location: Trevor Nichols Research Center, 6237 124th Ave., Fennville, MI 49408

Spend your summer studying insect pests and pollinators on berry farms throughout Michigan. Daily tasks include insect scouting/trapping at farms and at the research station, fruit damage assessments, setting up experiments, and insect rearing. Travel to field sites is in a university vehicle (travel time is paid). All work will be completed under MSU COVID health guidelines.

Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in entomology, biology, agriculture, or related fields.
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • Ability to work outside.
  • Attention to detail and protocols.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Desired Skills:

  • Field research and/or lab experience.
  • Data entry and analysis.
  • Insect collection and identification.
  • Plant and/or pollen identification.
  • Lifting equipment up to 40 pounds.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of people, including scientists and growers.

To apply:

Fill out an application at this link:

Or go to and search for job position #695384.

If you have questions about the position feel free to contact Steve Van Timmeren (  

Interviews will be scheduled with select applicants once the job posting has closed on March 26.

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" 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 "Lab Members" 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.  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 Jackie Perkins to inquire about positions on campus, or Steve Van Timmeren for positions based in west Michigan. Job postings are often posted on MSU Handshake. 

Postdoctoral Positions

No postdoctoral positions are currently available. 

MSU programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age or familial status. The university is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university (and this lab) encourages applications from women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

Department of Entomology
288 Farm Lane
243 Natural Science Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824
Phone 517-355-4633
Fax 517-432-7061

Dr. Rufus Isaacs
Berry Crops Entomology Lab
Department of Entomology
Michigan State University
578 Wilson Rd, Room 202
Center for Integrated Plant Systems
East Lansing MI 48824