Two Ecology Field Assistant Jobs – Summer 2005 ~

9 de febrero de 2005

Two Ecology Field Assistant Jobs – Summer 2005

DESCRIPTION: We are looking for 2 highly motivated upper class undergraduate students who are interested in field experience in ecological research. The students will assist faculty with field experiments and observations as part of two new projects to evaluate interactions among root-, stem-, leaf- and flower head-feeding insects and their consequences for the host plant individuals and populations. One project with Dr. Russell will examine interaction effects of guilds of native insects on a native thistle of tallgrass prairie, Tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum). The other project with Dr. Louda will focus on both native and introduced insect natural enemies of one of the worst invasive weeds in the U.S., Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). The two teams will collaborate and interact and participate on field trips into the Sand Hills of Nebraska and the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Our goal is to better understand the ecological interactions and their potential in the management of weedy species. In these two new research projects, we will explore fundamental questions about how insects that feed simultaneously affect one another through changes they induce in host plants and how the damage by these guilds combines to produce a net effect on plant performance and population dynamics. Answers to these questions are important for basic understanding of insect-plant interactions and they are critical to science-based strategies to control invasive weeds.
Field assistants will have a chance to gain experience with a wide variety of ecological field techniques, including insect exclusion experiments, soil nutrient manipulation experiments, quantification of herbivore damage, quantification of plant growth and reproduction and measuring demographic rates of plant populations. Field assistants also will have opportunities to learn basic principles of experimental and sampling design in field ecology as well as identification of key insects of tallgrass grasslands. Most fieldwork will be conducted in eastern Nebraska tallgrass prairie, but projects will involve trips to mid-grass prairie in the Nebraska Sand Hills and south-central Kansas tallgrass prairie.
The positions are for at least 3 months: 20 May – 20 August. Although the ideal start date for both projects in 20 May 2005, it could be flexible for an appropriate candidate who can remain later in the summer. Salary stipend is $1,300 / mo., plus a $300 housing allowance. For more information contact Dr. F. Leland Russell, Department of Biological Sciences, Wichita State University or Dr. Svata M. Louda, Charles Bessey Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (, 316-978-6091;, 402-472-2763).
Application: Please submit a resume, description of interests and experience in biology, and have 3 letters of recommendation sent via e-mail to both Dr. F. Leland Russell ( and to Dr. Svata M. Louda
( and in hard copy to Dr. Russell at Biology Dept., Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita KS, 67260-0124. Our review of applications will begin February 21. The positions will remain open until appropriate candidates are found.

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