PhD and MS positions in Microbial Ecology

The Aylward lab at Virginia Tech is seeking enthusiastic students interested in the ecology and evolution of microbial life to join the newly established research group in either a Masters or PhD track. The lab uses molecular, =91omic, and bioinformatic tools to address questions regarding the diversity, activities, and systems biology of microbial communities.

Potential projects include: 1) Analysis of the evolution and potential biogeochemical impacts of Bacteria and Archaea in the open ocean using metagenomics and comparative genomics, and 2) The development of new bioinformatic approaches leveraging large =91omic datasets to assess the diversity and activities of microbial life in the biosphere.


Students should have 1) a strong interest in microbial ecology and diversity, 2) a bachelor=92s degree (or equivalent) in a related field, and 3) some programming experience (preferably python or R).

Programs & Application:

Students can join the lab through several graduate programs offered at Virginia Tech, including different tracks within the Biological Sciences graduate program and the interdisciplinary program in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology. Students will be provided competitive stipends and have the opportunity to interact with the dynamic and inclusive community at Virginia Tech that includes scientists working on exciting questions in ecology, evolution, systems biology, and computational biology. More information regarding the Aylward Lab and links to different programs can be found on the lab webpage (

Interested applicants should send a combined PDF with a description of their research interests and motivation, their CV, and contact information for three references directly to Frank Aylward (