Graduate position: WashingtonStateU.PollinatorBeeEvolution

Graduate Opportunity (MS) in Entomology, summer 2024 (pollinator /bee biology) Department of Entomology, Washington State UniversityFor full job advertisement see:–updates& descriptionWe are looking for applicants for a recently funded MS student positionat Washington State University (WSU), Department of Entomology. Thestudent will lead a research project on the pollinator fauna of afederally endangered, endemic flowering plant, Spalding’s Catchfly(Silene spaldingii). The successful candidate will be carrying out fieldwork in the Pacific Northwest and use environmental DNA methods to: (1)identify pollinators of Spalding’s Catchfly, (2) identify the presenceof potential nonnative plant species that may compete with Spalding’scatchfly, (3) and examine the pollinator dynamics in an understudiedPacific Northwest ecosystem.Spalding’s catchfly (Silene spaldingii) is a federally listed plantendemic to the Pacific Northwest. This flowering plant depends onnative grassland habitat which is declining throughout the. Nonnativeinvasive plants are considered one of the greatest threats to Spalding’scatchfly populations as they can compete for resources, alter ecosystemdynamics and may even alter pollinator behavior. There is reason tobelieve that the presence of specific nonnative species in Spalding’scatchfly habitat may negatively impact reproduction and impede speciesrecovery. Understanding this dynamic is imperative because successfulpollination is vital to Spalding’s catchfly recovery.We seek an incoming graduate student with an interest in bee and/orpollinator biology, identification, and field work. The successfulcandidate will collaborate on a research project between (WSU) and theUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), with field sites inNortheastern Washington. The student will learn and use novel eDNAmetabarcoding techniques, as well as observation and collecting,to identify the pollinator fauna of Spalding’s catchfly, developplant-pollinator visitation networks detailing plant usage, and contributeto the conservation of a threatened plant species.QualificationsBS in entomology, biology, or a related field. Preference given tocandidates who have skills in bee and/or plant identification, and/ormolecular lab work.Professional expectations: The PhD student will work at WashingtonState University, Pullman, in the lab of Silas Bossert and ElizabethMurray. There will be several opportunities for travel during theappointment, including at least one scientific meeting. PIs will encourageprofessional development and creative and independent approaches toproblem solving.About the labOur lab is broadly interested in bee and pollinator biology andevolution. Our expertise includes phylogenomics, faunistics, taxonomy,museum curation, and comparative analyses. The lab is in the excitingstage of being recently established and building personnel and resources,and we welcome candidates who will contribute to a diverse laboratoryenvironment ( the locationWashington State University is a land-grant institutionlocated in Pullman, Washington. The Department of Entomology( hosts facilities such as the MT JamesEntomological Collection (, the HoneyBee and Pollinator Research, Extension, and Education Facility, and stateof the art laboratory equipment. Faculty in Entomology are located oncampuses and research & extension centers across the state.To applyContact Silas Bossert ( prior to applying; pleaseinclude your CV along with a description of your background and yourfit for the position. Preferred start time for this position would bebetween May 15- June 15, 2024. Candidates will be reviewed startingFebruary 5th, 2024.