Join us!

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The Wetzel Lab is always looking for motivated PhD and MS students, postdoctoral scholars, and undergraduate researchers. Please check out the research page for descriptions of some of the major projects happening in the lab. And please have a look at our publications to get an idea of the type of research we do. If our science interests you, please email me to start a conversation ( It would be ideal if you could provide the following:

  1. “Prospective student” or “Prospective postdoc” in email subject
  2. Brief description of research interests and career goals
  3. CV
  4. Sample of scientific writing (e.g., published paper, manuscript in preparation, thesis, paper from a class)
  5. Names and email addresses for 2-3 references
  6. Unofficial transcripts (not necessary for prospective postdocs)

I look forward to hearing from you!

In general, I am looking for people who love thinking deeply about the natural world, who love plants and insects, and who want to use science to make fundamental discoveries that are relevant for agricultural sustainability or responding to climate change. Most of the lab’s work has a strong quantitative component, so potential lab members should either have skills in statistical and mathematical modeling or be motivated to learn them. I am interested in prospective lab members who would like to work with me on the projects described on the research page or who would like to develop novel projects within the broader context of the role of variability/diversity/heterogeneity in plant–insect and tritrophic interactions.

My mentoring philosophy is to treat mentees as junior colleagues, whose future success is my goal. I also strive to mentor adaptively, being hands-on when a student needs and wants close guidance and being hands-off when a student needs space to think.

I take graduate students through both the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program and the Department of Entomology. This means students graduate with a dual degree in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior and Entomology.

Postdoc opportunities

I’m always on the look out for excellent scientists who are interested in applying for postdoctoral funding with us. Please email me if you’re interested (

Undergraduate research opportunities

The Wetzel Lab typically has abundant opportunities for undergraduate students at Michigan State University—in the field in the summer and in the lab and greenhouse during the academic year. We also take 1–2 undergraduate researchers from schools other than MSU every summer. These students usually apply to work with us through the Kellogg Biological Station NSF REU Program, which starts accepting applications every December.

In general, we are looking for undergraduates who are interested in the ecology of plants and insects and who want to get their hands dirty doing ecology in the lab, greenhouse, or field. Most students participate in ongoing research projects, but some students pursue independent research projects. Usually the students we mentor on independent projects have already spent some time working on ongoing projects. This allows them to get to know us and lets them get some research experience before starting their own intellectual adventure. Please explore the lab website and email me if you’re interested (

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