Title: Graduate Research Assistant
Location: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Stephenville, TX 76401
Chair: Jeff Brady, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
We are looking for graduate research assistants to conduct thesis projects studying microbial impacts on plant ecology leading to Master of Science degrees. The positions will support Dr. Jeff Brady’s lab at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Stephenville, TX. Specifically, thesis projects will involve characterizing the impacts of microbial species on competitive relationships between native grass species and exotic invasive grass species.
B.S. degree in microbiology, biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry, rangeland ecology, chemistry, soil science or other relevant disciplines.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Successful candidates will have exposure to plant/soil/water sampling and/or ecological studies. Ideally, candidates will have the ability to process and test microbiological samples by culturing, qPCR, and next-generation DNA sequencing. The projects have a large bioinformatics component, so experience with command-line data analysis is a plus using software packages such as R and QIIME. Successful candidates will also have excellent written and oral communication skills, a passion for grassland conservation, and the ability to independently operate a motor vehicle for sample collection trips. Physical requirements include the ability to walk alone on uneven ground through tall vegetation while carrying 25 pounds, stooping, squatting, bending, twisting, standing, digging, and visually identifying grass species while collecting.
The positions are for two years with a flexible start date (preferred from January to June 2021). Competitive salary is provided. The positions are considered part-time (20 hours per week) while enrolling full-time (9 hrs) and attending classes to satisfy the academic requirements for the degree. The positions are research-focused have no teaching requirement.
Please send a cover letter along with a resume/cv and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Jeff Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org). Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.