A graduate assistantship for a doctoral student is available to work on epidemiology and management of Rhizoctonia solani AG1-IA, causing sheath blight on rice and aerial blight on soybean. The research projects are collaborative efforts across the labs of Drs. Felipe Dalla Lana and Sara Thomas-Sharma.

The student is expected to work across both crops to answer management challenges of sheath blight/aerial blight. The student will be given the flexibility to develop projects/research questions in the general areas of characterizing host resistance, fungicide resistance management, spatial and temporal analysis, disease modeling, and management in general. Depending on the questions identified, the project will involve field, greenhouse, and lab work.

Field/greenhouse work could include sampling from agricultural fields and experimental field plots, developing screening protocols in field/greenhouse, setting-up field trials etc. Lab/computational work could include culturing, developing assays to study fungicide resistance, genomics to characterize resistance genes, analysis of historical datasets etc. Student skills gained at the end of the project period will thus include systematic sampling, quantitative epidemiology, statistical programming languages, and assay development, among others.

The student will be expected to participate in scientific meetings, publish findings in peer-reviewed journals, and apply for independent funding opportunities. The student also will have the opportunity to work with extension and teaching activities.

Please send a letter of interest (maximum one page) to one of the contacts below describing why you are interested in a graduate program in Plant Pathology and your experiences that may be relevant to these projects.

Applications will be reviewed starting Sept 15, but will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified. International students must provide English language proficiency tests, such as TOEFL, that meet LSU’s criteria by Oct 1, or have an English language proficiency exemption; see www.lsu.edu/graduateschool/admissions for more information.


Sara Thomas-Sharma: SThomasSharma@agcenter.lsu.edu

Felipe Dalla Lana: FDallaLana@agcenter.lsu.edu

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