​Ph.D. Opportunities

Phenolic Acids
The Managed Ecosystems Microbial Ecology Lab is recruiting a PhD student to research
the biology of microorganisms that consume plant-derived aromatics and their role in the
soil priming effect. The student will learn and practice (i) methods for cultivating and characterizing aromatic degrading microbes, (ii) profiling biological systems using ‘omics’ data, and (iii) using bioinformatics tools to extend findings using public datasets. This is an opportunity to explore the biology, ecology, and evolution of a major group of free-living / endophytic bacteria in the terrestrial environment. Experience in microbiology, plant sciences, bioinformatics, data visualization, and writing are assets.

Personal development is valued and will be supported through conference attendance,
teaching, and outreach opportunities as well as customized development planning. We
value a diversity of lived experiences and opinions, a collaborative work environment, and
a test-fail-learn-repeat mindset. Liquid handling robots and student support are available
to complement physical needs.

There are several different directions this research can progress, playing to the strengths
of a candidate. The following are study systems and collaborations involved in this project:

Study systems
• greenhouse (Arabidopsis, poplar, maple; phenotyping facility)
• field (forest)
• bacterial genetics
• in silico

Collaborations / Applications
• Plant-microbe interactions (Botany and Plant Pathology)
• Root exudation profiling (Cornell University)

The lab and project are led by Dr. Roland Wilhelm. To apply, please send a resume and a short cover letter to rcwilhelm@purdue.edu before April 10th, 2022. In your letter, please describe your interest in topics related to the proposed research. The ideal start date is August / September of 2022.



The Managed Ecosystems Microbial Ecology Lab is recruiting a PhD student to conduct
research into the ecological interactions that structure the colonization of plant matter.
The student will learn and practice (i) methods for cultivating and characterizing novel
modes of surface attachment and competition among microbes, (ii) profiling biological
systems using ‘omics’ data, and (iii) using bioinformatics tools to extend findings using
public datasets. This is an opportunity to explore the biology and ecology of rhizobacteria,
endophytes, and lignocellulolytic organisms. Experience in microbiology, bioinformatics,
data visualization, and writing are assets.

Personal development is valued and will be supported through conference attendance,
teaching, and outreach opportunities as well as customized development planning. We
value a diversity of lived experiences and opinions, a collaborative work environment, and
a test-fail-learn-repeat mindset. Liquid handling robots and student support are available
to complement physical needs.

There are several different directions this research can progress, playing to the strengths
of a candidate. The following are study systems and collaborations involved in this project:

Study systems
• hydroponics
• soils (agricultural / forest)
• fabricated ecosystems (examples)
• in silico

Collaborations / Applications
• Plant-microbe interactions (Botany and Plant Pathology)
• Engineered biofilms (Agricultural & Biological Engineering)
• Other host systems (Purdue Applied Microbiome Sciences)

The lab and project are led by Dr. Roland Wilhelm. To apply, please send a resume and
a short cover letter to rcwilhelm@purdue.edu before April 10th, 2022. In your
letter, please describe your interest in topics related to the proposed research. The
ideal start date is lAugust / September of 2022.

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