Microbial Diversity and Evolution

Multiple Graduate Student Positions - Ecology and Evolution of Giant Viruses

Starting Summer/Fall 2022

The Aylward Lab has several funded positions for PhD students

  • Projects focusing on giant viruses that infect protists and other novel large DNA viruses.

  • Directions include culturing novel viruses, multi-‘omics of uncultivated viruses¸ and phylogenomics of host-virus co-evolution.

  • Projects can be purely computational, purely experimental, or a mixture

  • Virginia Tech has a beautiful campus in the Appalachian Mountains. Blacksburg is a small town with a low-cost of living, and stipends are competitive.  

  • Vibrant lab with wonderful people!

 

Programs

Interested students can apply to:

The Aylward lab is broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of microbial life. Hallmark discoveries made over the last ~40 years have underscored the importance of microbes to the planet and shown that global biogeochemical cycles are driven by diverse groups of bacteria, archaea, protists, and viruses, most of which lack any cultivated representatives. Novel microbial lineages continue to be discovered using cultivation-independent methods, and currently a major challenge is understanding the ecology and evolution of these groups and their broader impact on the biosphere. We use a combination of computational and experimental approaches to investigate the phylogenetic, genomic, and metabolic diversity of various microbial groups and their viruses. Check the Research page for more specific ongoing directions. 
 

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