ecology project at Virginia Tech for 10 weeks (June – August 2018, exact
dates negotiable). A stipend will be provided for travel, field expenses
and living expenses (approximately $600 per week). The project will be
focused on land use change in the southern Appalachian region and its
effects on ecosystem functions of soil microbial communities.
Project details: the student will work directly with a PhD student in
the Barrett lab in the Biological Sciences Department on a project based
at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in the southern Appalachian
mountains of North Carolina. At Coweeta, we are investigating soil
microbial responses Rhododendron understory removal, with a focus on
responses of microbial extracellular enzymes involved in carbon,
nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling in soil. The REU student will complete
a complementary project in which they will measure soil extracellular
enzyme activities in forests with no history of a Rhododendron
understory as well as forests that have been subjected to a variety of
past land uses, such as commercial logging.
In addition to measuring extracellular enzyme activities, the student
will gain experience in field soil sampling and processing as well as
lab measurement of soil physical and chemical properties. The student
will also be involved in data entry, processing, and analysis.
The ideal candidate will have an interest in ecosystem ecology, soil
ecology, and microbial ecology. The candidate must be enrolled in an
undergraduate program and must have a graduation date after August 2018.
Applicants should send a CV (resume), unofficial transcript, contact
information for one academic reference, and a one page personal
statement to Ernie Osburn (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include “REU
position” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through May