Description: The Mitchell Lab in the Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources at Tarleton State University is seeking two highly motivated students to receive a M.S. in Agriculture and Natural Resource to explore pollinator-plant relationships in Texas grasslands for Fall 2022. This project is part of a collaborative research partnership between Tarleton, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville supported through USDA-NIFA-NLGCA funding. The goal of this project is to explore the use of grass pollen as supplemental feed in pollinator seed mixes. Although grasses are primarily wind-pollinated, native insects have been observed collecting grass pollen in field studies and may serve as an alternative forage during drought events or when other flowering plants are limited in season. The first student will quantify insect pollinator networks associated with native and non-native grasses through camera trapping and field collecting across Texas. The second student will assess the productivity and nutritive value of grass pollen through the field surveys and molecular analysis, as well assisting in the development of a pollen library at Tarleton.

Qualifications: B.S. in ecology, entomology, natural resources, plant science, range management, or other related fields with GPA of at least 3.0 required. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in plant and insect identification and sampling, experience with statistical software (R statistical programming or equivalent), and scientific writing. Students must be self-motivated, able to work independently in adverse field conditions (esp. hot weather and stinging insects) and in remote areas, and must have a valid driver’s license.

Salary and Benefits: Students will receive a monthly salary of $1600 for 30 month (2.5 year) commitment, including health benefits as an employee of Tarleton State University and the Texas A&M University System. Out-of-state tuition costs are waived; students are responsible for costs of in-state tuition and fees. Students will receive assistance through the hire of field technicians, compensation for travel and lab costs, and funding to present research at a professional conference of their choice.

Application: To apply, please email the following materials as a single PDF file to Adam Mitchell (abmitchell@tarleton.edu) – 1) a single-page cover letter describing interest and professional goals, 2) a resume or CV, 3) copy of academic transcript (official or unofficial), and 4) contact information for three references. Please include the subject line “YOURNAME_PollinatorMS”. Applicants who interview will be requested to provide an example of their writing skills, such as a term paper or a scientific publication/technical bulletin in which they are co-author, if applicable. For questions, contact Dr. Mitchell by email or call (254)-459-5334. The deadline to apply is July 15th with a quick turn-around for interview.

Adam Mitchell, Ph.D (He/Him/His)
Certified Wildlife Biologist ®
Assistant Professor of Entomology
Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources
Tarleton State University
Office: Autry 203B
Phone: (254)-459-5334

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