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MS Assistantship Insect Conservation and Ecology

Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a highly motivated M.S student to join our insect inventory and monitoring research team. The selected candidate will be responsible for working with summer monitoring of rusty patched bumble bees, benthic macroinvertebrate water quality monitoring, and inventories of other insect species that are at various rankings of imperilment risk in the state of Illinois. Many project opportunities exist within the main initiatives of the work in the lab, but ILDNR funding for specific projects in the state of Illinois is also available. 

Members of this team have expertise in aquatic insects, bumblebees, dragonflies, beetles, and moths and butterflies. Projects vary from year to year, but bumble bee community assessments and benthic macroinvertebrate assessments are standard. Potential students with specific experience working with adult aquatic insects or with bumble bees are particularly encouraged to apply, and to consult about possible project ideas immediately. Spatial analysis and molecular skill sets are also highly valued among applicants.

Opportunities for collaboration with other researchers are abundant, both within INHS and across other departments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


B.S. in entomology, ecology and evolutionary biology, natural resources, or related fields. Field and laboratory experience related to water quality monitoring, pollinator ecology, insect taxonomy (particularly aquatic insects or bumble bees), field ecology, or species inventories are preferred. Strong communication (verbal and writing) and analytical (quantitative) skills, as well as creativity are critical. Drone/UAV experience is considered a plus. 


Environmental Demands: Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, etc.), travel (including driving to and from research sites) throughout the state of Illinois working irregular hours and overnights; lift and carry equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.

The successful applicant will need to be available to begin work as soon as the Spring 2022 semester and if not already enrolled, could begin working as an hourly employee during the Spring and Summer semesters with a transition to the RA position starting Fall 2022.

The RA position includes a 50% research assistantship with tuition wavier through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

How to Apply:

For full consideration, applications should be submitted by November 14, 2021. Interested students should send a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcript, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Jason Robinson ( Applicant review will begin immediately. The successful application will be expected to enroll at the University of Illinois for the Fall 2022 semester

application instructions can be found here:…