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There are a number of opportunities available to students who wish to gain experiences working in their field of interest. Check this page often for announcements about job openings and internships at WSU.


David Crowder Lab Undergrad Research Position Description

Project Advisors: David Crowder and Rob Clark (postdoc in Crowder Lab)
Project: Host plant use by pea aphids and plant pathogen persistence in agroecosystems

Research Motivation:
Insects such as aphids and mosquitoes are often pests due to their ability to transmit pathogens of plants and/or animals. Understanding the dynamics of these pests on hosts and non-hosts has important implications for the study of disease. In agricultural systems for example, non-cultivated plants are important alternative hosts for insects, while also acting as reservoirs for plant pathogens. On the one hand, non-cultivated plants can serve as “sinks” for insect and pathogen populations, pulling pests away from crops. On the other hand, non-cultivated plants can also provide refuges for insects to escape chemical and biological control, leading to subsequent outbreaks if the pests can recolonize crop plants. Our lab is seeking a student to work on a project involving pea aphids and their host plants. Pea aphids are key pests that transmit a pathogen of legume crops (peas, lentils, garbonzo beans). The student working on this project will directly examine host plant switching between crop and non-crop plants, the impacts on aphid performance, aphid dispersal behavior, and the persistence of plant viruses in natural and agricultural plant communities.

Position Description:
This position is available for an undergraduate student interested in pursuing a career in scientific research. You will join a research team and be trained in skills pertaining to topics including community ecology, animal behavior, co-evolution, plant-insect interactions, weed science, plant pathology, and molecular biology. Specific skills that will be gained through day-to-day work will be cultivation of plants in greenhouses, rearing insect for scientific study, molecular virology, organization of agricultural data, and biostatistics. The position requires a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week and will continue until the project is finished. Undergraduates interested in long-term experience in biology will be preferred — we expect to have a series of experiments on this project running in the Fall and Winter (Greenhouse experiments), and the Spring and Summer (Field Experiments) through the next calendar year. This will be a paid position ($12/hr) that will ideally develop into a student’s honors thesis project.

Crowder Lab Description:
Our lab is a diverse group consisting of 7 graduate students and 4 postdocs who are examining insect ecology in agroecosystems. One of the main focus areas in our lab is insect-vectored disease. Students involved in this project will be immersed within this diverse group of scientists and will be able to gain experience in multiple skills related to ecology, entomology, biostatistics, and disease ecology.

Interested?
To apply, send a single pdf file containing a short statement of interest (< 1 page) and brief resume (1 page) to dcrowder@wsu.edu and robert.e.clark@wsu.edu


Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute

Training future entrepreneurs
The Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute gives you the opportunity to bring your entrepreneurial dreams to life and get a $2500 scholarship! The institute offers a unique opportunity to experience how innovation moves from idea to sustainable realization, and gives you the tools to pursue your ideas. Working in interdisciplinary teams, you will learn to manage uncertainty, design, perfect your presentation skills, work with real fiscal and technical constraints, and develop technologies to solve real problems. The Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurial Institute has an international reputation and is recognized with the prestigious Kauffman award.

Interested?
Attend the Student Entrepreneurship Program Info Session Friday, Sept. 1 >>
Students with demonstrated initiative and a desire to have impact with their career are encouraged to apply by September 9th of their junior year.
To learn more about the institute, see the Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreurship Institute website.


Friesen Lab Undergrad Research Position Description

Research Motivation:
The atmosphere is four/fifths nitrogen gas. This noble gas is almost entirely unwilling to break its N-N bond to produce biologically useful forms without the action of an enzyme that is only found in bacteria and archaea. Diazotrophs (“di-nitrogen-eaters”) are bacteria and archaea that are found to associate with many plants, including important legume and grass crops. Diazotrophs are able to “fix” nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it to a more usable form that plants can use to grow. Our lab has ongoing work isolating diazotrophs and other potentially beneficial microbes from plants in both wild and agricultural systems. Understanding these interactions is important because if plants can fix their own nitrogen, farmers may not need to apply nitrogen fertilizer to these crops, saving the farmers money and reducing nitrogen pollution in the environment.

Position Description:
This position is available for a freshman or sophomore undergraduate student who is interested in pursuing a career in scientific research, broadly defined. You will join a growing collaborative research team and contribute to ongoing lab projects while developing a personalized set of skills that could include plant biology, phenomics, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genomics, bioinformatics, mathematical modeling, data analysis, programming, statistics and data analysis, scientific writing, and scientific communication. You will have the opportunity to develop independent research projects within the scope of the lab’s research program as well as opportunities to present research at scientific meetings and be an author on scientific manuscripts. The position requires a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week and could last for the duration of your undergraduate degree, including more intensive summer experiences that could include field research in California or Michigan.

About the Friesen Lab:
We work on the ecological and evolutionary genomics of beneficial plant-microbe symbioses. We focus on legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria to explore questions about how plants structure their microbiomes and enforce mutualistic microbial behavior, how plant-microbe interactions evolve during the invasion of novel habitats, and the role of microbial communities in plant biodiversity and ecosystem function. We strongly value diversity and work to foster a supportive and inclusive research environment. For more information: http://plantpath.wsu.edu/people/faculty/friesen/

Interested?
To apply, send a merged PDF file containing: your current CV/resume, statement of interest and career goals, unofficial transcript, and 3 references to friesen.lab@gmail.com with the subject line “Friesen Lab Undergrad Research”. Note that you do not need to have research experience to be competitive for this position, we are looking for someone with potential who will be a great addition to our excellent team! We will begin interviews September 13th, so please apply by then for full consideration.


Research on Learning, Cognition, and the Brain!

The WSU Childhood Cognition Lab is housed in the Department of Human Development. The Lab has 1-2 research opportunities for undergraduate students interested in psychology, child development, early education, or neuroscience.

The Lab has a number of lines of ongoing research, including investigations into how children learn to formulate and execute plans, how the brain develops, and how meditation practices influence the brain and decision making.

Research assistants acquire hands on experience collecting data, managing data, recruiting families, and reading and discussing research articles with graduate students and faculty. Research assistants are required to work in the Lab 6-9 hours for two semesters for credit in HD 485. Advanced research opportunities are available thereafter.

To learn more, please contact the Lab’s director, Dr. Sammy Perone, at sammy.perone@wsu.edu