The lab of Dr. Christine Hawkes is seeking a summer undergraduate research assistant. The broad goal of the project is to understand how aspects of the plant microbiome influence carbon cycling in ecosystems, and by extension, climate change. We will be characterizing soil microbial communities from field experiments that were conducted in the Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA. The goal of the experiment is to understand how trees, by associating with mycorrhizal fungi on their roots, affect how much carbon remains in forest soils rather than returning to the atmosphere as CO2.
The person selected will work 10-20 hours a week during the summer, at be paid the standard student employee rate. The student will extract DNA from soils, perform PCR and prepare genomic libraries for Illumina Miseq DNA sequencing. There is the possibility to continue this work for the following two semesters for credit. Ideally the student would become familiar with metagenomic methods and bioinformatics, and then help conduct a literature analysis extracting metagenomic and biogeochemical data from published studies, with the possibility of being included as an author on the manuscript.
Student should have taken at least one lab class and have be interested in pursuing science as a career.
June-September 2014 (dates flexible), with potential to continue in the fall for credit.
Student will extract DNA from soils and prepare DNA libraries for metagenomic sequencing on the Illumina Miseq. Other general lab tasks will also be expected of the student such as dish washing, soil processing, making solutions, etc.
Applicants should email a resume that includes any relevant experience, and a brief statement about why you are interested in pursuing research as an undergraduate to Colin Averill at email@example.com.