Pace University Federal Work-Study Undergraduate Research Assistantship— “Tetrastigma” Biology in New York, New York
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Position Title Federal Work-Study Undergraduate Research Assistantship— “Tetrastigma” Biology
Position Number 1P4035
Status Part Time
Executive Provost/EVP Academic Affairs
Division AP - Sponsored Research Eco Develop
Department Undergraduate Research Initiative P4035
Primary Campus/Site NY - New York City Downtown Campus
Work Mode Hybrid
Grant Funded? No
Serve as an undergraduate research assistant on the project: Identifying Tetrastigma—sole host to the world’s largest flowering parasite, Rafflesia.
Tetrastigma is a genus of tropical vines related to grapes (Vitaceae). It is the sole host plant to the endangered parasitic plant, Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae), which produces the largest flowers in the world and are a charismatic icon of plant conservation. Principal investigator Jean Molina has been working on understanding the symbiotic biology between Rafflesia and its host species to learn how to cultivate and propagate Rafflesia in botanic gardens to facilitate ex situ conservation and foster awareness and education of these rare plants. It is unknown how Rafflesia “selects” its host species. Of the 95 Tetrastigma species, only a few Tetrastigma species serve as hosts. Tetrastigma species are also difficult to taxonomically identify in the field, as well as determine if they are actually infected with Rafflesia, since there can be no obvious signs of Rafflesia infection initially, as the parasite can remain dormant in the host for a long time before flowering. Molina has collected various Tetrastigma species from Southeast Asia this summer and needs help in identifying these species using DNA barcoding, which uses DNA sequences/genes to identify the species. Molina also hopes to develop a barcoding method to determine if a Tetrastigma sample is Rafflesia-infected. Identification of the host species, as well as determination of infection, is important in subsequent experiments such as metabolite profiling and characterization of bacterial endophytes from the host, as these metabolites and microbes specific to a certain Tetrastigma species may be important in understanding host species choice in Rafflesia.
The undergraduate research assistant will be trained to extract DNA from the samples and isolate and amplify genes of interest (= DNA barcodes) using polymerase chain reaction ( PCR ). The products will then be purified and submitted/outsourced for DNA sequencing. Research Assistant will then compare the resulting DNA barcodes to sequences from a reference DNA database to identify the host species. Research Assistant will also learn how to analyze his/her data and write scientifically.
*All position duties must be conducted in full compliance with University COVID -19 requirements for safety.
Only undergraduate students who have federal work-study ( FWS ) awards as part of their financial aid package are eligible.
The student does not need to have laboratory experience, though that is ideal. The student should be highly motivated, detail-oriented, possess superb work ethic, and has some basic biology background (has taken Bio 101 and/or 102 and excelled in these courses, i.e. A- or A).
Exact schedule to be determined with the faculty supervisor. The position is approved for 166 hours or $2,500 in work-study funds for the academic year. Once a student’s $2,500 in work-study funds are exhausted the position must end; there are no additional funds to supplement work-study funds and federal law prohibits the students from volunteering for the same work they were previously paid for. For this reason, the faculty supervisor must work with the student to ensure a distribution of hours that will enable the student to work on the project throughout the academic year and not spend beyond the student’s work-study award.
Minimum Hourly Wage
Maximum Hourly Wage
Posting Detail Information
Posting Number Stu01598P
Job Open Date 09/20/2022
Job Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Special Instructions to Applicant
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Quicklink for Posting https://careers.pace.edu/postings/23824
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).
- Are you an active Pace University Student?
- What is your UID number (University Identification Number)?
(Open Ended Question)
- “Were you awarded and did you accept federal work study dollars towards your education here at Pace? If so, you will be expected to bring your Federal Work Study letter with you if contacted for an interview”
Work-Study Award Letter