Graduate Research Assistantship in Insect Pheromone Biochemistry/Chemical Ecology
The laboratory of Dr. Dorothea Tholl, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, is seeking applications for a graduate research project (PhD level) in Biochemistry and Chemical Ecology of Insect Pheromones.
To date, still very little is known about how insects biosynthesize pheromones, especially those in the class of terpenes or isoprenoids. The Tholl lab recently discovered that insects are capable of producing terpene pheromones de novo instead of sequestering them from their host plants. This Ph.D. study will investigate the biosynthesis and chemical ecology of terpene aggregation/sex pheromones in stink bugs. The project will further explore the evolution of terpene pheromone and chemical defense biosynthesis in a variety of other insects in collaboration with scientists from the US and Europe. Outcomes of this work may be applied toward developing alternative pest control strategies. Applicants should have a good understanding of biochemistry and chemical ecology; research experience in these areas is desired.
Interested applicants should send a letter of interest with their personal statement, resume, and contact information for two to three references by e-mail to Dr. Tholl (firstname.lastname@example.org). In your letter, include a description of your research interests and why you are interested in joining the research group as well as a summary of your prior research experience, your academic background (e.g., relevant coursework) and GPA, GRE, and TOEFL scores. The preferred start date is fall 2018; however, applications for a later start date in 2019 are also welcome.
For more information about the Tholl Lab, visit https://www.biol.vt.edu/faculty/tholl/index.html.