The Microbiology of Managed Ecosystems Lab is recruiting a PhD student to conduct research into the ecological interactions that structure the colonization of plant matter. The student will learn and practice (i) methods for cultivating and characterizing novel modes of surface attachment and competition among microbes, (ii) profiling biological systems using ‘omics’ data, and (iii) using bioinformatics tools to extend findings using public datasets. This is an opportunity to explore the biology and ecology of rhizobacteria, endophytes, and lignocellulolytic organisms. Experience in microbiology, bioinformatics, data visualization, and writing are assets.

Personal development is valued and will be supported through conference attendance, teaching, and outreach opportunities as well as customized development planning. We value a diversity of lived experiences and opinions, a collaborative work environment, and a test-fail-learn-repeat mindset. Liquid handling robots and student support are available to complement physical needs.

There are several different directions this research can move forward, playing to the strengths of a candidate. The following are study systems and collaborations involved in this project:

Study systems

  • hydroponics
  • soils (agricultural / forest)
  • fabricated ecosystems (examples)
  • in silico

Collaborations / Applications

The lab and project are led by Dr. Roland Wilhelm. To apply, please send a resume and a short cover letter to before April 10th, 2022. In your letter, please describe your interest in topics related to the proposed research. The ideal start date is The ideal start date is August / September of 2022.

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date:
Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN