Students Sought to Work on Molecular Systematics and Taxonomy of Fusarium
Dr. David Geiser is looking for two outstanding Ph.D. students to work on the molecular systematics and taxonomy of Fusarium, beginning in Summer or Fall 2017, at the Fusarium Research Center in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) at Penn State.
These positions will be funded through a National Science Foundation grant supporting a taxonomic monograph of the genus integrated with sequence-based identification tools. These doctoral students are expected to advance Fusarium taxonomy by performing molecular phylogenetic analyses using marker-based phylogenomic approaches, contributing to the taxonomic content of the monograph with new descriptions, and making inferences about evolutionary processes and patterns.
This project is international in scope, with co-PIs and Senior Collaborators Kerry O’Donnell and Todd Ward (USDA), Seogchan Kang (Penn State), Keith Seifert (Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada), Pedro Crous and Vincent Robert (CBS Fungal Biodiversity Centre, The Netherlands), and Takayuki Aoki (National Agricultural Research Organization, Japan).
This is an opportunity to engage in taxonomic and systematic research on one of the most important groups of fungi and capitalize on an outstanding genomic, phylogenetic, and bioinformatics framework. Students will have access to tens of thousands of Fusarium isolates collected around the world.
Applicants should have a life sciences bachelor’s or master’s degree, particularly involving mycology, evolution, ecology, or genetics, with research experience strongly preferred. Applicants should have a keen interest in fungi, systematics, and evolution. Students with developed skills in genomics, bioinformatics, phylogenetics and/or working with fungi in the laboratory would be ideal. Students should be able to work as part of an international team and be highly motivated to take advantage of the professional opportunities this project can provide. We are committed to diversity and particularly interested in having students from underrepresented groups join the project.