900 University Ave, Riverside, CA 92521
In the Wilson Rankin lab, we study invasive species ecology, investigating species interactions and their effects on food webs and ecosystem services both at the landscape-level (such as invasive species removal and mitigation) and the individual-level (such as foraging strategies and genetic diet analyses). Much of our work involves native pollinators and invasive social insects in and across the interface of agricultural, natural and urban landscapes. Specific areas of current research involve the effects of drought and fire on pollinator health and diversity, life history evolution of invasive species, disruption of ecosystem services by invasive generalists and trophic impacts of multi-channel omnivory.
Educational and Employment Opportunities
Pollinator Identification and Analysis: Seeking UCR undergraduate student (CNAS junior or senior preferred) to help a second-year Ph.D. student in the Wilson-Rankin Lab in the UCR Entomology Department with research during Winter Quarter 2017. Position available ASAP. Volunteer (without salary) position, roughly 10-15 hours per week. Responsibilities will include:
* Lab work at UCR. This will involve drying, pinning, labeling, and sorting insects (particularly bees) collected from field work for preservation and subsequent identification, as well as performing tasks in ArcGIS software and processing insect samples for toxicity analyses.
* Plant maintenance. Sowing seeds and regular watering and pruning of plants in the glass greenhouses at UCR.
* Field work. Accompanied by the graduate student, field work will take place in suburban areas in Riverside, San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. Fieldwork typically occurs weekday mornings between 7am and 12pm, from early March to late October. Procedures involve setting out traps for insects, surveying and identifying plants, and netting and observing insects. No prior research experience or specific knowledge required, as training will be provided by grad student. An interest in pollinators, wildlife conservation, community ecology, and/or urban biodiversity is preferred. If interested, please email Prof. Rankin..
Opportunity to study plant-pollinator interactions! The Wilson-Rankin lab is seeking motivated undergraduates with an interests in botany, entomology, biology, and/or microbiology to assist in an exciting project studying plant-pollinator interactions all over California. A pollination network encompasses all of the interactions between plant species and pollinator species within a certain geographic area. It is similar to a social network. For example, imagine that each plant or pollinator species is an individual with a facebook profile; if one pollinator species visits a plant species, those two species are connected, just like being 'friends' with someone on facebook. When zoomed out to the level of an ecological community, these connections make up a network, which connect all the flowering plants and pollinators within a given area. We will be investigating how pollination networking impacts pollinator pathogen transmission, and how large-scale processes such as migration, climate change, and invasive species impact plant-pollinator-pathogen networks.
The undergraduate assistant will be helping with the collection of data in the field when coursework allows, sample processing, and data entry. Applicants should be prepared for some travel within the state of California, outdoor field work in challenging conditions, and laboratory work. Interested students should have completed either a university-level laboratory or field biology course. To apply, please email a statement of purpose, undergraduate transcripts, and a letter of reference to Dr. Jenny Hazlehurst at: jennyhaATucr.edu.
Any undergraduate students interested in volunteering or seeking research experience are encouraged to contact Prof. Rankin.