MS or PhD Positions in Plant Biology


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Hiring Institution

University of Delaware


Graduate research assistant positions (MS or PhD) are available in the Erin Sparks laboratory in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. Research in the Sparks lab revolves around the development and function of aerial roots in maize called brace roots. We use genetics, histology, molecular biology, mechanical testing, image analysis, physiology, phenotyping, and computational modeling to understand:

  1. Structure/function relationships of plant phenotypes: How does root architecture and composition contribute to plant stability? How does root anatomy and composition contribute to plant physiology?
  2. Molecular mechanisms of trans-organogenesis: How does a root initiate from a stem? What are the molecular signals that control this process?

Projects are available within each of these areas. Additional information about the lab environment and PI expectations are outlined in the Sparks Lab Mission and Guidelines on the Sparks lab website at The lab is located at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI), a multidisciplinary research facility with world-class researchers and core facilities ( The University of Delaware is located in scenic Newark, DE, an excellent geographic location within two hours of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

How to apply

To apply, please submit a brief description of your past research experience and future interests, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three references as a single pdf to The deadline to apply for these openings is March 1st, 2018.