Summer Undergraduate field assistant at the University of Minnesota in Ecology

7 April 2023

The invasive species research group in the Moeller Lab studies the biogeography, ecology, and evolution of invasive plants in the Upper Midwest to try and better predict invasion risk, especially in the face of global climate change. In spring/summer 2023, we will be starting a large field experiment to test for local adaptation and pre-adaptation to climate change in the invasive plant, common tansy. We will establish planting sites at four areas across the state and in each site we will manipulate temperature (warming conditions) and precipitation (drought simulation with rain-out shelters). The experimental sites are across MN (outside Moorehead, MN; outside Duluth, MN; Southwest MN, and St. Paul Campus, UMN).

Pay Rate: $15/hour; 40 hours/week
Dates: 22 May – 18 Aug; 13 weeks (flexible)
Housing is not provided in the Twin Cities

The student will assist us throughout the summer in the experiment with:

  1. Set-up: planting and implementing climate manipulations
  2. Up-keep: weeding and plot maintenance
  3. Data collection: in-field measurements, plant material processing, measurements in lab including using computer programs such as ImageJ
  4. Record-keeping and preliminary analysis: input data, uploading and graphing plant and weather data.
    Other minor duties: greenhouse work, dry lab seed counting, occasional wet lab work

Minimum qualifications:

  • Undergraduate Student with an interest in plant ecology or evolution;
  • Willing and able to work outside in heat or rainy conditions in the dirt;
  • Willing and able to travel on day trips (8-10 hours) or occasional short overnight stays to areas in rural MN (travel and/or accommodations for trips will be provided). The trips will be on-going throughout the summer;
  • Willing and able to lift and carry at least 25 lbs.

Additional desired qualifications:

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Software such as Word and Excel;
  • Familiarity with ImageJ;
  • Coding experience in R.

Contact Ryan Briscoe Runquist ( for questions or apply by sending a short cover letter and CV/resume.