Graduate position: VirginiaCommonwealthU.2.InsectSymbioses

I am currently seeking two graduate students to start in the fall 2020
to study insect-microbial symbioses.

Research in my newly established lab focuses on the
evolution of insect-microbial symbioses.   Parasitic lice
(Phthiraptera) and their symbiotic microbes (Ca. Riesia species, serve as the primary focus
of my research.  Currently I am investigating how microbial symbioses
facilitates the evolution of novel insect phenotypes, how symbioses
impacts genome evolution in bacteria, and the roles mobile genetic
elements play in insect-microbial symbioses.  Students working in the
lab will gain experience in bioinformatics and wet lab techniques.
An emphasis will be placed on bioinformatics and students will gain
experience with phylogenetic methods, genome/transcriptome assembly,
genome annotation and comparison, and metagenome analysis.   You can
learn more about my work by visiting

If you are interested in insect or bacterial evolution, phylogenetics,
and evolutionary biology, please contact me by email at
The email should include a 1) short description of your research interests
and experience, 2) your CV, and 3) whether you are seeking a Ph.D. or M.S.
Please send inquires before November 1, 2019.

The lab is centrally located in the bustling Monroe Park campus of
Virginia Commonwealth University.  Located along the James River
in Richmond, Virginia, the area is known for its numerous dining and
entertainment options.  The greater Richmond area is host to many craft
breweries and nature parks.

Bret Boyd

Bret Boyd <>