PhD and MS student positions available in plant-insect ecology

The Wetzel Lab at Michigan State University is seeking prospective PhD and

MS students interested in studying how biological diversity or

environmental variability influences insects and their interactions with

plants and predators. The lab uses field experiments and quantitative tools

to address fundamental ecological questions that are relevant to

agricultural sustainability or climate change. There are currently two main

lines of inquiry in the lab:

1) How does plant chemical diversity influence insect herbivores and their

interactions with predators?

2) How does temperature variability influence interactions among plants,

insect herbivores, and predators? We are interested in understanding how

the increased frequency of high temperature events (heat waves) associated

with climate change is changing the ecology of plants and insects.

I am interested in students who would like to collaborate with me on these

projects as well as students who would like to develop novel projects

related to the ecology of plants and insects in a variable world. Please

see  < > for more

information. I plan to take students through the Ecology, Evolutionary

Biology, and Behavior Program ( and the Department of

Entomology (


Applicants should have a bachelor=E2=80=99s degree in ecology, biology, entomology,

environmental science, or related field. Preference will be given to

applicants with ecological research experience. Applicants should be

interested in learning both field ecology and quantitative tools. A passion

for understanding how nature works and boundless enthusiasm are key assets.

The Wetzel Lab strives to be a safe space for diversity in STEM.


Students in the lab receive a generous stipend, a tuition waiver, and a

travel budget. This financial support comes through research

assistantships, teaching assistantships, and university fellowships.

Students are also encouraged to seek external fellowships through NSF,

USDA, and other sources.

*Plant-insect ecology at Michigan State University*

MSU is an exciting place to study the ecology of plants and insects. 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, and Integrative Biology, and

across the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program. The

university has an extensive greenhouse facility and access to field sites

at the MSU Kellogg Biological Station nearby.

Those interested in these positions should read the lab webpage ( ) and email me ( with the following.

0) “Prospective student=E2=80=9D in email subject

1) Brief cover letter describing research interests and career goals

2) CV

3) Unofficial transcripts

4) Sample of scientific writing (e.g., published paper, manuscript in

preparation, MS or undergraduate thesis, research paper or essay from a


5) Names and email addresses for 3 references

I will begin reviewing candidates on September 15th. Applications are due

to the graduate school by December 1st.

I look forward to hearing from you!