Master’s Position Available in the Soil Pathology Lab: Department of Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences and the Department of Forestry

Published by Cori VanGalder on

Master's Position Available in the Soil Pathology Lab: Department of Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences and the Department of Forestry

Are you passionate about finding solutions to save our trees? Come and work in the Sakalidis Lab ( ( at Michigan State University to join a dynamic team working on chestnut diseases and oak wilt.

Your project will focus on evaluating the impact, biology, diversity and management of chestnut blight and oak wilt in Michigan chestnut orchards. You will conduct lab, greenhouse and field-based research and present your work in extension and academic meetings. You will be working closely with a post doc who is also working on chestnut diseases and the Sakalidis lab oak wilt team (3 other graduate students). The Sakalidis lab uses molecular ecology and plant pathology approaches to understand the etiology and epidemiology of tree pathogen species and their populations. With a focus on emerging native pathogens and exotic invasive pathogens we seek to characterize these pathogens and mitigate negative effects they have on their hosts. You could enroll in either a Plant Pathology Master’s degree or a Forestry Master’s degree for this position. If a prospective candidate strongly desires a PhD degree this can be accommodated.

Skills you should have:

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate effectively & work as part of a team

Some of the skills you will gain:
Lab based
: microscopy, media preparation, fungal culturing and storage, DNA extraction, PCR and qPCR, chemical efficacy (fungicide trials)

Greenhouse: plant maintenance, pathogenicity trials, chemical efficacy (fungicide) trials

Field: chemical efficacy (fungicide) trials, herbicide applications, sample collections, disease surveys

Writing & Communication preparation and presentation of academic and extension text and talks. Including peer-reviewed manuscripts, reports, grant proposals, extension news articles and fact sheets.

Start Date: Ideally Summer 2023, must start by Fall 2023/Spring 2024

Commensuration: At least two years fully funded incl. salary ($27,846- $31,200 per annum), health and tuition, additional time may be funded as needed.

Interested? Please reach out to Dr. Sakalidis ( with questions & to send application materials.

Application Materials: Cover letter with a summary of background, research interests and career goals; a Curriculum Vitae; Contact information and details of three professional references.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will close when filled


MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.  MSU is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential.  The University actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

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