The Soil Biology and Soil Fertility labs at Michigan State University are looking for a Master’s student to start in the Graduate Program Summer or Fall semester 2021. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Lisa Tiemann (http://tiemann.psm.msu.edu/) and Dr. Kurt Steinke (https://www.canr.msu.edu/soilfertility/) and will be fully supported (tuition, salary and health insurance) through a research assistantship. Information about the Master of Science in Crop and Soil Sciences at MSU can be found at: https://www.canr.msu.edu/psm/degree_cerficate_programs/graduate_programs/masters_of_science_in_crop_and_soil_sciences
We seek a Master’s student to participate in an on-gong research project, supported by MSU AgBioResearch, the Michigan Potato Industry Commission and the USDA, that focuses on identifying management strategies to enhance soil health and reduce losses to soilborne diseases in potato production systems. Enhancing soil health in potato cropping systems represents a significant challenge because of the unavoidable soil disturbance that occurs during potato planting and harvest, lack of residue associated with potato vines, difficulty in establishing a cover crop following harvest in some regions, and the need to rely on fumigation to control diseases. The student will work at the interface of applied and basic research, gaining experience with crop trials and field experiments and field sampling methods. While working under the primary supervision of Dr. Tiemann, the student will gain an understanding of how soil biology drives soil health as well as valuable general research and laboratory skills including a wide variety of soil analyses such as soil nutrient cycling and extracellular enzyme assays, DNA extraction, quantification and sequencing, soil chemical analyses and soil physical fractionations and stable isotope analyses.
Students interested in the position should contact Dr. Lisa Tiemann via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include: 1) a brief cover letter (no more than 2-pages) that describes future career and research goals, highlights any undergraduate research experience, and gives examples of organizational skills; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) names and contact information for three references.
Candidates must possesses a Bachelor’s degree, with some preference given to those with a B.S. degree in soil science, ecology, microbiology, environmental sciences or a closely related field.