Two M.S. graduate student positions are available for highly motivated students in the Houseman lab at Wichita State University.
1. Soil Heterogeneity and Plant Diversity. This NSF funded project examines the role of soil heterogeneity and aggregated seed arrival on plant community assembly in tallgrass prairies. This field experiment tests underlying explanations for species coexistence and diversity and has direct implications for the restoration of plant communities. The field station for WSU includes several grassland sites as well as a 4700-acre site in the Flint Hills of Kansas, which is the largest remaining, intact tallgrass prairie in North America.
2. Field-based Bioeconomic Model for Invasive Species Control. This USDA funded project is designed to integrate the demographic details of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) into an optimization model designed to forecast invader spread under different soil and cattle management scenarios. Most of the field work will occur on cattle ranches located in
the scenic Flint Hills of Kansas. When managed well, these sites are
remarkable locations of grassland plant and animal diversity. The Houseman lab will focus on the quantification of ecological interactions while the Buyuktahtakin Lab (New Jersey Institute of Technology) with take the lead on
the optimization modeling.
Application Details: Interested students should contact Greg Houseman to
determine suitability before applying to the graduate program in Biology.
Gregory R. Houseman
Wichita State University