Graduate Research Assistantship: Plant-Insect Interactions in Human-Modified Ecosystems

Subject: Graduate Research Assistantship: Plant-Insect Interactions in Human-Modified Ecosystems

I am seeking a highly motivated graduate student (PhD preferred, but MS applications considered) to join the Kim Lab in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. I study the ecology of plant-insect interactions (e.g. pollination, plant-herbivore) and how these interactions vary with land management and land-use change. Potential project topics include examining how disturbance (e.g. fire, grazing) affect plant-insect interactions, modelling how land-use change affects insect biodiversity and ecosystem function, and IPM effects on non-target insects and plants.
Students interested in the fields of community ecology, agroecology, landscape ecology, and food web interactions are encouraged to apply.
Projects will involve a combination of field work, laboratory/greenhouse work, and spatial modeling. For more information about current work in the Kim lab, please visit my website: Positions will be competitively funded through four-year research assistantship (tuition and stipend). Students are also encouraged to apply for external fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship (

Requirements: Competitive applicants will have backgrounds in biology, ecology or entomology with an interest in conservation and insect ecology.
Prior experience conducting field work and independent research is desirable.  Strong quantitative skills (statistics, programing) are also desirable. Teamwork and good communication skills (oral and writing) are important.

To apply: A start date of Fall 2019 is preferred, although earlier start dates (as early as January 2019) may be considered. For consideration please email a cover letter stating your research interests and qualifications, your CV with names and contact information for 3 references, and unofficial transcripts to Dr. Tania Kim ( I will begin screening applications in mid-October 2018, have initial online or phone interviews in late October/early November, and extend an invitation for an on-campus visit in December. Final decisions will be made by late December 2019.  Please contact me with any inquiries for additional information or to arrange a phone call. I will also attend the Entomological Society of America Conference in Vancouver, Canada (November 10-15) so interested students can arrange to talk to me then as well.

Information about the Department:

The Department of Entomology maintains excellent research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and a research insect collection. It was recently ranked the 4th best Department of Entomology in the world by the Center for World University Rankings; these rankings are based on the number and quality of professional publications produced by the department and quality of faculty research. In the most recent rankings of PhD programs in US Departments of Entomology, we were ranked 8th nationally for overall quality by the National Research Council (
Our mission is to: 1) provide entomological knowledge for a safe, sustainable, and competitive food, feed, and fiber system through integrated research and education; 2) maintain a stakeholder/clientele-driven focus to research, extension, and teaching activities; 3) generate fundamental information for the advancement of science and for applied uses; 4) train students for professions in education, government, business and industry; and 5) disseminate useful, unbiased information.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and promotes inclusion in every sector of the institution. The university established the Office of Diversity, led by the associate vice president for diversity and a dedicated staff. Additionally, each college has a designated Diversity Point Person to provide insight and guidance. Kansas State University received the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, award from Insight Into Diversity magazine for the past three years. Multicultural students account for 15 percent of our student population, a university record, and continue to trend higher.