New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Project Summary: Drylands and deserts can be high in their biological diversity and are economically important ecosystems. Through a suite of anthropogenic pressures the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico has seen extensive degradation leading to loss of desirable grasses and forbs and an expansion of shrubs. This project presents an exciting opportunity to investigate complex ecological interactions between mesquite chemical treatments, native biocontrol insects focused on reducing mesquite, native plants, and their cascading effects on soil health and restoration success. We are seeking an outstanding PhD student to join this interdisciplinary project coordinated by Dr. David Thompson (Rangeland Entomologist, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science [EPPWS]), Dr. Erik Lehnhoff (Invasive Plant Ecologist, EPPWS) and Dr. Akasha Faist (Rangeland Ecologist, Department of Animal and Range Sciences). Selection of a major Professor will depend on the background and interests of the candidate. The student will interact with a diverse team of faculty to gain broad experience in entomology, restoration ecology, chemical ecology, and weed ecology, and will have the opportunity to focus additional research efforts in an area of their choice.

Basic qualifications: Candidates should have: a MS degree (3.2 GPA minimum) in entomology, range science, plant ecology or weed ecology (or a closely related field); the ability to communicate effectively both in writing and orally; laboratory and field research experience; and a willingness to work in inclement weather including extreme heat. Highly qualified candidates with only a BS may be considered.

Preferred qualifications: Ideal candidates will have: strong quantitative and statistical skills; experience using GC-MS, demonstrated ability to perform independent laboratory and field research and record of publication from their MS research.

Salary: Based on experience with a beginning level of $23,286.

The position will start in early summer 2020 (start date negotiable). Interested candidates should apply no later than February 7, 2020. To apply, submit (1) a cover letter describing experience and interests, (2) CV, (3) transcripts, (4) GRE and TOEFL (if required) scores, and (5) contact information for three professional references to: [log in to unmask]  .

For more information, interested candidates should email or call Dr. Erik Lehnhoff ([log in to unmask]  , 575.646.2328), Dr. David Thompson, ([log in to unmask]  , 575.646.1367) or Dr. Akasha Faist, ([log in to unmask]  , 575.646.1805). Additional departmental information can be found at and