The Sweet Lab at Arkansas State University (A-State) is recruiting M.S. students to work on host-symbiont interactions and evolution, primarily in parasitic bird lice. Successful candidates will use a combination of field, molecular, genomic, and bioinformatic techniques to address questions related to the abundance, dispersal, and coevolution of lice on their avian hosts. There are also opportunities to work on projects focused on the evolution of mitochondrial genomes in insects and the coevolution of lice with their endosymbiotic bacteria. Regardless of project, candidates will be expected to publish their research in peer-reviewed scientific journals and present findings at regional, national, and international conferences. The candidates will be supported through teaching assistantships in the Department of Biological Sciences at A-State and from existing grant funds.
Candidates should have a Bachelor's degree in Biology, Wildlife, or a related field and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Preferred skills include: mist netting/handling/banding birds, basic molecular lab techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc.), and experience working with genomic sequence data. Experience with programming or statistical languages (Bash, Python, R) and with high-performance computing servers would also be useful. Candidates should also have strong written and oral communication skills, exhibit creativity and enthusiasm to pursue scientific questions, and demonstrate an ability to work in a collaborative environment.
If interested, please direct inquiries to Dr. Drew Sweet (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 1, 2022. Inquiries should include: 1) a brief statement of interest, 2) a CV/Resume, 3) GPA and unofficial transcript(s), and 4) contacts for three professional references. I will conduct virtual interviews with select candidates prior to A-State's graduate application deadline (15 February 2022).