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Invasive Plant Species Research

The Invasive Plant Science Lab in the Department of Plants, Soils & Climate at Utah State University has openings (Spring 2020 and Fall 2020) for two MS positions. Broadly, the research will further existing knowledge of the spread and distribution of invasive plant species and restoration in semi-arid climate regions.


Spring 2020 (immediate)

Invasive plants continue to be problematic in Utah, changing fire regimes, impacting the diversity of plant and animal life, and threatening economic livelihoods. Developing plant communities resistant to noxious and invasive plants, and resilient to real world disturbances (i.e. grazing and wildfire) is important for Utah’s ecology, as well as to many in the livestock and wildlife industries. In addition, knowing the tolerance of fire, drought, and grazing by a range of plant species and species mixtures used in restoration efforts is needed due to increased pressure from these, and other factors, being imposed on rangeland systems. The goals and objectives of this project aim to address these areas and provide useful information for land managers to incorporate into restoration seeding and management efforts.


Fall 2020

Currently, the most rapidly expanding populations of invasive plants or hotspots in Utah are unknown. Yet, the existence of two robust databases contain historically relevant information that could be used to identify invasive plant hotspots. This information combined with field studies targeting their control using an ecological-based invasive plant management approach could provide land managers throughout Utah and nearby regions with additional tools heretofore that have not been available. The objectives are to conduct a database search for invasive plant occurrences over time, identify population hotspots that have the most rapid increase in occurrence, and test the performance of the most appropriate tactics for management including revegetation with native and/or desirable plant species.

How to Apply

Send an email to Dr. Steve Young

  1. Applicants should specify the position of interest (Spring 2020 or Fall 2020)
  2. send a letter of application describing educational background, research experience, career goals, and professional interests
  3. Send resume or CV
  4. contact information for at least three references
  5. GRE and TOEFL scores (if required)

Review of applicants will continue until the positions are filled.

Students with an interest in plant ecology, invasive species, and restoration are encouraged to apply.

About Utah State

Utah State University is located in picturesque Logan, UT, a community of 100,000 people situated 135 km north of Salt Lake City. Logan has a low cost of living and is located in a semi-rural mountain basin with nearby ski resorts, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and mountains providing unparalleled recreational opportunities.