The  Wetzel  Lab at Michigan State University is seeking prospective PhD and MS students interested in studying how biological diversity or environmental variability influences insects and their interactions with plants and predators.  The lab uses field experiments and quantitative tools to address fundamental ecological questions that are relevant to agricultural sustainability or climate change. There are currently two main lines of inquiry in the lab:
1) How does plant chemical diversity influence insect herbivores and their interactions with predators?

2) How does temperature variability influence interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and predators? We are interested in understanding how the increased frequency of high temperature events (heat waves) associated with climate change is changing the ecology of plants and insects.

I am interested in students who would like to collaborate with me on these projects as well as students who would like to develop novel projects related to the ecology of plants and insects in a variable world.  Please see  for more information. I plan to take students through the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program ( and  the Department of Entomology (

Applicants should have a bachelor €™s degree in ecology, biology, entomology, environmental science, or related field. Preference will be given to applicants with ecological research experience. Applicants should be interested in learning both field ecology and quantitative tools. A passion for understanding how nature works and boundless enthusiasm are key assets. The  Wetzel  Lab strives to be a safe space for diversity in STEM.

Students in the lab receive a generous stipend, a tuition waiver, and a travel budget. This financial support comes through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and university fellowships. Students are also encouraged to seek external fellowships through NSF, USDA, and other sources.

*Plant-insect ecology at Michigan State University*
MSU is an exciting place to study the ecology of plants and insects. The university has a large and dynamic community of scientists working on cutting-edge questions about plants and insects in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Potential collaborators and colleagues can be found in the departments of Entomology, Plant Biology, and Integrative Biology, and across the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program. The university has an extensive greenhouse facility and access to field sites at the MSU Kellogg Biological Station nearby.

Those interested in these positions should read the lab webpage ( and email me ([log in to unmask]) with the following.

0) "Prospective student in email subject
1) Brief cover letter describing research interests and career goals
2) CV
3) Unofficial transcripts
4) Sample of scientific writing (e.g., published paper, manuscript in preparation, MS or undergraduate thesis, research paper or essay from a class)
5) Names and email addresses for 3 references

I will begin reviewing candidates on September 15th. Applications are due to the graduate school by December 1st.  

I look forward to hearing from you!

William Wetzel
Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior
Michigan State University