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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 678216
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Entomology Agriculture And Natural Res 10002268
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Agriculture, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Position Summary

The Wetzel and Szendrei labs at Michigan State University are seeking a Research Associate for a USDA NIFA-funded project on the temporal ecology of extreme weather events in agroecosystems. The work examines the effects of heat waves on interactions among potato plants, insect herbivores, and natural enemies. A major goal is resolving how the ecological impacts of an extreme heat event depend on the timing of the event within the growing season and within the ontogenies of each species. This research seeks to improve our ability to manage insect pests ecologically and sustainably in the face of extreme weather associated with climate change.

The position is a one year position with possible renewal based on availability of funding. Tentative start date is January-May 2021, starting remotely and transitioning to in-person when safe. Duties will include planning and conducting lab and field studies, data collection and management, statistical analysis, writing, and presenting at conferences. There is also potential for a focus on plant chemical ecology and/or thermal physiology work, depending on the interests of the Research Associate. The Research Associate will supervise undergraduate researchers and technicians, coordinate with graduate students, participate in lab meetings and activities, and be an active member of the research community.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Ecology, Entomology, Plant Biology or related field

Minimum Requirements

Applicants should have a PhD in ecology, entomology, plant biology, or a related field and experience with plant-insect ecology.  Experience in one or more of the following: chemical ecology, thermal biology, plant-herbivore interactions, predator-prey interactions, and statistical modeling of temporal data.


Required Application Materials

Cover letter describing past research accomplishments, research interests, and career goals; CV; 2-3 published papers or manuscripts in preparation; name and email addresses for 3 references. 

For more information about our work see

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Department Statement

MSU is an exciting place to study plant-insect ecology. The university has a large and dynamic community of scientists working on cutting-edge questions about plants and insects in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Potential collaborators and colleagues can be found in the departments of Entomology, Plant Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Integrative Biology, and across the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Program and the Plant Resilience Institute ( The university has an extensive greenhouse facility and access to field sites on campus and at the MSU Kellogg Biological Station nearby.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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