The Forage Management program at Michigan State University is looking for a highly motivated graduate research assistant for a project studying autotoxicity in alfalfa. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr. Kim Cassida, MSU Extension Forage and Cover Crop Agronomist. This project is developing a soil bioassay for measuring autotoxicity in alfalfa. Autotoxicity is a form of allelopathy whereby plants inhibit establishment of their own seeds in crop rotations. This problem prevents reseeding of alfalfa without a wait period or rotation to another crop. A soil bioassay would provide guidance to producers on when it is safe to replant alfalfa. This is an MS position funded for two years as a half-time assistantship. The graduate assistant will be working with alfalfa seeds and seedlings in the lab, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field to develop the assay and then validate it using soils from alfalfa research plots and farmer fields across the state of Michigan. Data collected may include seedling size, root length, plant counts, growth rates, and other measures. The graduate assistant will oversee assay development, data analysis, and other details of the project as their thesis project. The graduate student will also assist with other forage projects as needed and assist with teaching of an undergraduate course in forage management.
Applicants must have a B.S. degree in agronomy, soil science, plant pathology, biology or a related discipline and meet all requirements for admission to the Michigan State University Graduate School. Send a copy of CV including research experience and career goals, research statement, and academic transcripts to Dr. Kim Cassida, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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