The Casteel lab at Cornell University is recruiting a PhD graduate student for Fall 2023! 

Summary: The student will develop independent research on soil microbiome-mediated resilience to climate change in organic farming systems. Competitive applicants will have a strong interest in microbial ecology, entomology, sustainable agriculture, soil health, climate change, and/or machine learning. Demonstrated prior research or extension experience involving public stakeholders is highly valued.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work directly with organic farmers, aid in the development of rapid microbiome sequencing platform, and to become proficient in molecular biology, chemical ecology, and field and/or laboratory experiments that quantify the function of microbes in plant-insect interactions and agroecosystems. This project is co-led by Dr. Elias Bloom, with support from Cornell Climate Smart Farming, the NE Climate Center, and the national farmer extension platform eOrganic.

About Ithaca: The Casteel lab is located at Cornell University in gorgeous Ithaca, NY. Situated in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Ithaca has an ample waterfront fed by over local 150 waterfalls, excellent fall color, hiking, and water trails. The downtown area of Ithaca boasts a pedestrian mall featuring locally owned businesses, world renowned vegan and vegetarian dining, and a year-round farmers market. The Cornell campus is serviced, free of charge to students, via public transportation.

Stipend & Benefits: Accepted candidates are guaranteed* financial support through a Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Assistant (TA), plus additional summer salary, for 5 years. The minimum salary for RA and TA positions at Cornell University are currently $30,088 for the 9-month academic year and the salary is $10,029 for a full time appointment during the 3-month summer ($40,179 annually). RA and TA appointments include health insurance and tuition is paid by the lab.

*Students must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.0 GPA

Questions? For questions regarding this position, contact Drs. Casteel and Bloom at and Informal inquiries are encouraged!

How to apply: I recruit students through the Plant Biology Graduate Program and the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe (PPMB) Biology Program currently. For August 2023 admission, applications are due November 15, 2022 for PPMB and December 1, 2022 for Plant Biology and Entomology. Apply here. Candidates who identify with groups systematically excluded from basic or applied biology fields are encouraged to apply!

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