Careers in the Plant Sciences

Plant Genomics M.S. student

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro, AR, USA

Position Title: Plant Genomics M.S. student
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Tuesday, March 01, 2022
Application Deadline: Thursday, September 01, 2022
Institution: Arkansas State University
Department/Division: Biology
Field (e.g., systematics): Invasion Genomics
City: Jonesboro, AR, USA
General Information: The Bellis & Marsico Labs at Arkansas State University are seeking a Master’s student interested in plant ecological genomics, with a desire to study the evolutionary ecology of invasive grasses that alter fire regimes. Specifically, we are seeking a driven student interested in studying the genomic diversity of wild sugarcane (Saccharum spontaneum), a Federal Noxious Weed, that is an emerging concern in the USA. This project is part of our ongoing collaborative research with Dr. Rima Lucardi (USDA Forest Service) that previously identified wild sugarcane as the most abundant taxon hitchhiking into the USA on air-intake grilles of refrigerated shipping containers.

The successful applicant should plan to begin in August 2022 or January 2023, though there is a possibility to start as an hourly employee prior to beginning graduate school.
Qualifications/Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree in botany, biology, genetics, bioinformatics, data science, computational biology, computer science, or related field is required. Applicants should have a strong desire for scientific discovery, a thirst for adventure, and a knowledge of or willingness to learn programming (R and/or Python) and command-line tools for genomic analysis.
Responsibilities: The student will conduct genomic sequence analysis to characterize the origins of naturalizing wild sugarcane populations and their hybrids and to understand mechanisms of adaptation to novel environments in the southeastern USA. In addition to genomic analysis, there is potential to contribute to field work, greenhouse experiments, and vascular plant identification for the broader collaborative project depending on interest.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): If you plan to apply, please send an email to that includes 1) a cover letter describing your interests, career goals, and relevant research experiences and skills; 2) your Curriculum Vitae [including names and contact information for three references]; and 3) a copy of your academic transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable). Review of requested pre-application materials listed above will begin on March 15, 2022 and continue until position is filled.

You can learn more about the Bellis and Marsico labs at and
Compensation Range:
Contact Name: Emily Bellis,