The labs of Dr. Bill Snyder (http://entomology.wsu.edu/bill-snyder/) and Dr. Dave Crowder (http://entomology.wsu.edu/david-crowder/) in the Department of Entomology at Washington State University are recruiting 2-3 PhD students who are interested in insects as vectors of disease, insect ecology, insect genetics, and/or plant-insect interactions. These students will work as part of an interdisciplinary team to examine the ecology of a bacterial plant pathogen (Liberibacter solanacearum, Lso) that is vectored by the potato psyllid to potato crops. This devastating pathogen has caused widespread
losses for potato growers throughout the Pacific Northwestern United States.
Our USDA-funded research bridges landscape ecology, molecular biology, plant-insect interactions and disease modeling in the framework of agricultural systems. Potential areas of research include: (1) examining the ecology of the potato psyllid and pathogen across cropping landscapes, including but not limited to an examination of crop and non-crop host use and modeling spread of psyllids and pathogen across diverse landscapes in the Pacific Northwest; (2) plant-insect-bacteria interactions, including but
not limited to investigating how psyllid fitness and behavior change when plants are infected with the pathogen, and examining how infection of plants with the pathogen influences host use and community dynamics; and (3) exploring the use of modern genetics/genomics techniques to study psyllid and Liberibacter gene flow across cropping landscapes and between crop- and non-crop hosts. We are seeking candidates with experience or interest in one or more of these areas. The project is in partnership with a large group of cooperating growers, and the PhD students will also help lead our outreach efforts. To apply send CV and statement of interest to Bill Snyder
([email protected]) and/or Dave Crowder ([email protected]). Students that
have completed MS degrees or conducted an independent research project are particularly encouraged to apply.

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