The research group for Professor Leakey is seeking undergraduates for a paid research experience this Spring semester.
BACKGROUND: Global climate change is increasingly subjecting regions to increase atmospheric vapor pressure deficits and reduced precipitation events suggesting water will become an increasingly limiting factor for agricultural biomass production. One target is to increase plant intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), which is defined as the ratio of stomatal conductance (gsw) and net CO2 assimilation (An). As pores that open and close stomata control plant iWUE by regulating the exchange between CO2 and water vapor.
EXPERIMENT: To determine how natural variants respond to drought stress from low water availability and evaporative demand, we examined 281 accessions of field-grown Sorghum. We exposed these accessions to high and low water input in Illinois and the increased humidity of Texas. We now want to determine how stomata and other critical epidermal structures change in response to challenging environmental conditions.
DUTIES: As a researcher in the Leakey lab, you work on projects relating to our goal of increasing water use efficiency and studying stomatal biology. In this project, you will work closely with another undergraduate researcher to take high-resolution microscopy images of Sorghum leaves. We will then use these images to determine the density of stomata and other leaf structures.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Detail-orientated, organized, reliable, and having completed introductory courses in biological sciences. PAY: Workers rate is $13/hour for up to 20 hours.
Please contact Dr. Daniel Tejeda Lunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions and for information on how to apply for this position.