Graduate Research Assistantship


A Graduate Research Assistantship is available for a M.Sc. or Ph.D. student starting in Spring 2015 or later at the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology of Auburn University in Auburn, AL. During his/her graduate studies the student will conduct basic research on pathogenic phytobacteria and their interactions with the plant host(s). Our plant pathology laboratory conducts research to understand the infection processes, survival/proliferation, and host preferences of bacterial phytopathogens that endanger agricultural crop production. Research conducted in our laboratory is focused on the population distribution, host specificity, and mechanisms of infection of the xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Aspects of the disease such as the biochemistry of the infection process and biofilm formation are being studied using molecular biology, microbiology, and nanotechnology approaches. Another topic of research is the elucidation of virulence traits and improvement of culture conditions of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus,’ the causal agent of citrus greening disease. These studies will involve the use of microfluidic chambers as model systems for studying the behavior of the bacteria inside phloem vessels. Microscopic observations of the microfluidic chambers allow temporal and spatial understanding of bacterial infection processes and growth. We are looking for a self-motivated person interested in the advancement of scientific knowledge of plant pathogens. The successful candidate will work within a collaborative and multi-disciplinary environment. The student will be enrolled in a program towards obtaining a M.Sc. or Ph.D. in Plant Pathology. The position will remain open until filled.


A B.Sc. degree in the Biological Sciences or a related discipline is required. Experience working in a research laboratory is preferred and skills in molecular and/or microscopy techniques are desired but not required. Strong communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team are essential for the successful candidate.

How to Apply:

The candidate should apply to the Auburn University Graduate School at Transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (if applicable), and letters of recommendation from 3 references need to be submitted with the application. In addition, please contact Dr. Leonardo De La Fuente; Tel. (334) 844-2582.

Last Updated: October 14, 2014

Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology | 301 Funchess Halll | Auburn University | Auburn, Alabama 36849
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