Update: the position is filled! Please check back in January 2021…

The DeAngelis Lab is seeking an undergraduate research assistant starting Fall 2020 to collaborate on research investigating microbial evolution in response to environmental warming.

The goal of this project is to describe adaptation of soil bacteria to long-term warming using comparative genomics and laboratory growth experiments. This role is to help build and curate a culture collection of diverse bacteria isolated from soil enrichments. The ideal candidate has a passion for microbiology and microbial ecology, strong organizational skills with attention to detail, and a desire to learn new microbial cultivation techniques. While lab experience (including coursework) is desirable, previous experience is not required. Training will be provided for all required tasks.  

Job Description 

  • Hourly or Independent Study credits required, starting at 9 hours per week or 3 credits.  
  • Compliance with COVID-19 laboratory safety protocols is essential.  
  • Willing and available to commit at least 2 full semesters to the team.  
  • Responsibilities include isolation and genotyping of soil bacteria. Specific duties include media prep, bacterial gDNA extraction, PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes, sequence analysis, and cryopreservation of strains.  


  • Academic coursework in Biology, Microbiology, Plant & Soil Science, or similar field.  
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.  
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively. 
  • Contribute to a positive, supportive, and anti-racist team environment.  
  • Experience with laboratory methods including sterile technique, microbial cultivation, molecular biology (e.g. DNA extraction) (preferred, not required).  

Candidates should send a resume and brief cover letter describing your interest in the role before September 1, 2020 to Mallory Choudoir (mchoudoir@umass.edu), although we will continue to screen applicants until the position is filled. Underrepresented minoritized students are highly encouraged to apply. 

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