Starting Date: Preferably mid of July 2018
Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem functioning because they mediate interactions between species and facilitate ecological and economic impacts. However, pollinator health is globally declining in agricultural landscapes largely due to the use of insecticides, reduced habitat and lack of nutritional resources. The student opportunity is to participate with a team 1) to understand how pollination services contribute to ecosystem functioning, enhancing ecosystem services including maximizing crop yield and 2) transfer this role of pollinator services to policy development aimed at enhancing pollinator health. This team, in addition to myself, includes insect ecologists (Jon Lundgren), plant landscape ecologists (Henning Nottebrock) and economists (James Stone, Heidi Sieverding).We are using Brassica carinata and other flowering crops, to study plant-pollinator interactions in an agricultural ecosystem. Specifically, we will quantify the parameters that maximize ecosystem functioning, thus increasing ecosystem services. e.g., maximized carinata productivity and pollinator-associated ecosystem services resulting in maximized honey production.
Location: Department of Biology and Microbiology, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota. Brookings is a small, but vibrant community with easy access to culture and the outdoors. More information about the Department of Biology and Microbiology at SDSU can be found at:
Requirements: The ideal student should embrace field-based research as well as have some background or interest in large data and or landscape approaches. Most importantly, you should be passionate about biology and the questions being pursed at the CBFenster lab. Specifically for this project, one should have an interest in sustainable agriculture and the consequences of various land-use polices for ecosystem services. Generally, students who work with me either have or develop a broad understanding of statistics. Foreign students need to meet English language requirements.
I encourage you to contact me or Henning, if interested at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
More information can be found at the CBFenster lab website and project colleagues:
Please include in your email:
- brief description of your research interests
- concrete evidence of interest in this project
- experience related to this project
Funding options are available for both US and International students.