Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Close this search box.

Two PhD-level GRA (Graduate Research Assistantship) are available in Mark Williams’ Lab at Virginia Tech (aka Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): 

1. Microbial community dynamics in the root endosphere of plants, legumes, and grasses. You would likely build on a culture collection of bacteria to describe novel features of this unique ecological system. Tripartite interactions between nitrogen fixers, mycorrhizal fungi, and plants. 

2. Microbiome ecology and formation of soil organic matter. Core of the research would include cropping systems, but it would be necessary to choose two relatively “natural” ecosystems as references. E.g. restored or native prairie or 50+ year longleaf pine ecosystem, are good examples. 

3. Metagenomic and pangenomic ecological studies in support of laboratory goals, such as those described above.    

**To attain a PhD you would need to independently and collaboratively develop your own hypotheses and experiments for 1 of your 4 to 6 dissertation chapters.  

Apply to the graduate school at VT. Entry into my lab’s program can occur through the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Translational Plant Sciences Center or Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology program. Information on stipends, insurance, and other important benefits can be found at the grad school website.  

GRA: $34,000 (plus tuition waiver) 

Post-doc: ~$55,000 to $67,000, depending upon years of experience.  



Please contact me. 


– https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=liVWkvkAAAAJ&hl=en 

–I use voice dictation for most of my email communications. Occasionally there are errors. Please note these aere unintentional– 

Mark A. Williams, PhD., 301/312 Latham Hall 
Rhizosphere-Soil Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry,  

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences,  

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
Blacksburg, VA 24060 


Translational Plant Sciences Center  

Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Program