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Volunteer Research Position

Position Title:  Fungal parasites of insects/nematodes: biodiversity, genetics, and biochemistry

Research Projects:  Research in the lab is focused on fungi that are parasites of insects, nematodes, and other invertebrates.  There are currently two ongoing research project.   One investigates fungi and bacteria that parasitize nematodes in soybean/corn agroecosystems in Minnesota and explores their potential use as biocontrol of the soybean cyst nematode.  The other investigates linking fungal secondary metabolite clusters to chemical products and investigates the response of secondary metabolite pathways to different media conditions.  This research focuses on an insect pathogenic fungus (Tolypocladium inflatum) that is a pathogen of beetles and also producer of the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporin and a number of other compounds with potential use in medicine.   

Duties:   Media preparation, isolation and culturing of fungi and bacteria from nematodes, plants, and soil, DNA and RNA isolation, PCR sequencing of the rDNA of fungi and bacteria to identify to species, phylogenetic analyses of fungi and bacteria, preparation of chemical  extracts and bioactivity screening, PCR screening of genetic knockouts.  Seeking a student with an interest in continuing with a directed research project on a topic of student’s choice in spring 2015. There is also potential to join as a field research assistant in summer of 2015.

Starting Date: Fall 2014

Desired Qualifications:  Reliable, attention to detail, ability to work both independently and as part of a team, and basic computer skills (ability to manipulate spreadsheets/MS word) desirable.

Hours: flexible and arranged according to student’s schedule (approx. 6-10 hours/week)

Contact Person/Email/Phone:

Kathryn Bushley/kbushley@umn.edu, 612-625-8213

Please send a one page resume, names of at least two references and student ID# to .