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
Molecular diet analyses and food webs: Seeking a full time junior specialist to conduct molecular diet analyses and reconstruct food webs. Qualified applicants must have experience with DNA extraction, PCR and best lab practices. Position available July 1, 2018. If interested, please email Dr. Erin Rankin for more details.
Opportunity to study Pollinator Behavior and Interactions! The Wilson-Rankin lab is seeking motivated undergraduates for Summer 2018 with an interests in botany, entomology, biology, and/or ecology to assist a second-year Ph.D. student on a project studying species interactions at nectar resources. The undergraduate assistant will be helping with the collection of data in behavioral assays of bumblebees and ants, as well as in insect collection and maintenance. Position(s) available ASAP. Volunteer (without salary) position, roughly 10-15 hours per week. No prior research experience or specific knowledge required, as training will be provided by grad student. An interest in pollinators, wildlife conservation, ecology, invasive species, or insect behavior and communication is preferred. Must be willing to work with live insects. If interested, please email Prof. Rankin..
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 Summer 2018. Position available ASAP. Volunteer (without salary) position, roughly 10-15 hours per week. Responsibilities will include:
* Lab work at UCR. This will involve preparing 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.
Any undergraduate students interested in volunteering or seeking research experience are encouraged to contact Dr. Rankin.