The lab of Dr. Dave Crowder (http://entomology.wsu.edu/david-crowder/) in the Department of Entomology at Washington State University is recruiting a PhD student who is interested in insects as vectors of disease, plant-insect-pathogen interactions and/or plant physiology. Previous research in our laboratory has shown that herbivory by insects can have complex effects on insect-vectored diseases by influencing plant signaling and defense. For example, in legume plants we have found that herbivory by weevils can indirectly affect aphids that vector plant pathogens by altering plant signaling pathways and plant nutritional content. We are seeking a student who is interested in conducting research in this aphid-legume-virus system. Potential research areas include: (1) examining how diverse assemblages of insect herbivores influence plant defenses and nutrients, and in turn how variation in plant physiology influences the aphid vector and resulting spread of viral diseases vectored by aphids; (2) exploring how the diversity of plant hosts affects aphid fitness and behavior and resulting pathogen spread; and (3) examining the physiology of plants that are infected with pathogens, damaged by herbivores, or both. Potential students should have interests in both insects and plants, and conducting research involving both of these groups. To apply send CV and statement of interest to 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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