The Scordato Lab at Cal Poly Pomona invites applications for a Master’s student to study arthropod ecology in a Southern California agroecosystem. The Scordato lab is part of a research group with faculty from CSU Long Beach, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources examining how natural vegetation can support biodiversity in avocado and citrus orchards in Ventura County. We are looking for a student to study how arthropod pollinator and predator populations vary between agricultural and riparian areas, and determine if creating patches of natural habitat in orchards can improve pest control and pollinator services. Coursework will be conducted at Cal Poly Pomona with extensive research guidance from UC Santa Barbara and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers. The Master’s student will be expected to work on all aspects of the research project and lead the preparation of at least one peer-reviewed manuscript. This position is funded for three years, subject to review after the first year. The expected start date is summer 2024, with an earlier start available.
Required qualifications: 1) a Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science, agriculture, entomology, plant science, natural resources management, or similar field; 2) strong writing and quantitative skills; 3) a valid US driver’s license.
Preferred qualifications: 1) experience collecting and identifying insects or be willing to learn; 2) experience conducting field research, particularly in challenging conditions; 3) familiarity with the R programming environment.
Competitive applicants will enjoy field and lab work, including sorting, labeling, and archiving samples; be flexible, positive, and communicative during field work, even during long days outside requiring travel and exposure to hot weather; and be passionate about communicating science to broad audiences as there are opportunities to develop blogs, reports, and other media for the farming community involved in this project.
To learn more about Cal Poly Pomona and its Master’s program, visit https://www.cpp.edu/sci/biological-sciences/graduate-studies/about.shtml