Graduate Position in Insect Systematics

John D. Oswald j-oswald at TAMU.EDU
Wed Mar 16 14:00:27 CST 2005

A graduate research assistantship in Insect Systematics (Ph.D. preferred)
is currently open in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University
in College Station, TX, USA. The student selected for this NSF-funded
assistantship will help develop and coordinate a variety of bioinformatics
projects directed at the global neuropterology community and will be
expected to develop a dissertation research project focusing on the
systematics of a group of neuropterid insects (orders Neuroptera,
Megaloptera or Raphidioptera).

In addition to a strong overall academic record, the best candidates for
this assistantship will have the following qualifications: (1) MS degree
completed, (2) good computer skills and interests, particularly in the
areas of databasing, digital imaging, image processing, and web and digital
key development, (3) excellent oral and written interpersonal skills in
English, (4) working knowledge of insect diversity and entomological
systematics, and (5) an interest in neuropterid insects.

A major focus of the student's activities under the bioinformatics
components of this assistantship will be to help coordinate an
international team of established neuropterists and assist them in
developing digital keys to the extant Neuropterida genera of the world
using Lucid3 digital key software. This will require familiarity with (or
an aptitude for and willingness to learn) a diverse array of technologies
related to this goal, e.g., digital imaging, image processing, databasing
and digital key development software.

The insect Systematics Group in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M
University is one of the largest in the U.S., with four systematic
entomologists on the teaching faculty, two emeritus systematic
entomologists, three additional faculty and staff members with substantial
systematic interests, and >10 systematic entomology graduate students.
These human resources are backed up by the Texas A&M University Insect
Collection, a very actively growing entomological research collection
of >2.2 million specimens. Detailed information about the Department and
graduate studies can be found at

Texas A&M University is located in the Post Oak Savanna floristic province
of rural east Texas. Other natural communities, including prairies, mixed
hardwood forests and pine forests are accessible within a 1-2 hour drive. A
diversity of other interesting habitats, including the coastal communities
of the Gulf of Mexico, the limestone outcrops of the Texas Hill Country,
the subtropical communities of the Rio Grande valley at the southern tip of
Texas, and the Chihuahuan desert of west Texas, are accessible by longer
drives. College Station lies within the triangle formed by the major
metropolitan areas of Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio,
each of which are 1 1/2 to 4 hours away in different directions.

Persons interested in this assistantship should contact Dr. John Oswald
(see contact information below) informally before applying for admission to
the Department. In making this contact, please include the following
materials: a CV (specifically include notes on any computer skills and
knowledge), a statement of research interests, unofficial transcripts, GRE
scores, and the names and contact information of three references.

Dr. John D. Oswald
Associate Professor and Curator
Department of Entomology
Texas A&M University
2475 TAMU
College Station, TX   77843-2475

Office phone: (979) 862-3507
Fax: (979) 845-6305
e-mail: j-oswald at

Bibliography of the Neuropterida
Index to the Neuropterida Species of the World
Neuropterists Directory

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