The Tooker and Renner labs in the Department of Entomology at Penn State seek a PhD student to start in Fall 2022. We seek a highly motivated student with a record of success to conduct collaborative research on an NSF-funded project that will explore how plants make decisions. Previous research in the Tooker lab has determined that goldenrod plants (Solidago altissima) can detect both herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) and the putative sex pheromone of a gall-inducing fly that attacks S. altissima. The new project will determine how goldenrod plants prioritize their defensive responses after exposure to these cues and then damage from the associated herbivore species (the gall-inducing fly or a leaf beetle). The Tooker lab will conduct greenhouse- and field-based ecological studies that will be complemented by transcriptomic analyses of plant responses completed with the Renner lab. Students are strongly encourage to apply if they have interests in ecological work and have had some training in molecular skills generally, and ideally some transcriptomics experience. Alternatively, we would be happy to have students apply that are skilled with molecular techniques and would like to get involved in some ecological work. High-achieving international students are also encouraged to apply.
Application: Send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to John Tooker ([email protected]) Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Students who apply to our department by 15 December 2021 and are highly ranked may be invited to our department’s invitation-only Graduate Student Recruitment event, which will be held virtually in Jan 2022. Students that enroll will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforc