top of page


Graduate students

We are recruiting graduate students for Spring 2025 and Fall 2025! The successful applicants will study the role of gut microbiota in the plant-insect chemical arms race.


The idea that gut flora may assist insects in breaking down plant defenses has been often proposed, but rarely tested. The graduate students will ask whether, and how much, the beetle and caterpillar gut flora help to detoxify an herbivorous diet. This research will involve a combination of field work, insect rearing experiments in the lab, microbial cultivation, and high-throughput metagenomics. The students will acquire highly desirable skills including microbial culture techniques, use of analytical chemistry equipment (HPLC, LCMS), and the creation and analysis of next-generation sequencing datasets. The position is fully funded by a prestigious NSF grant, and the students will also benefit from three years of preliminary data and sample collection, including a library of hundreds of insect gut bacterial isolates.  


Interested? Email Dr. Ravenscraft at alison [dot] ravenscraft [at] uta [dot] edu with your CV and a brief description of your research interests.


Taking on a student represents a significant investment of time and money for a lab, even if the student is a volunteer. Furthermore, you should know that that there are many students competing for a small number of lab spaces. Therefore, you'll need to put your best foot forwards!


Before you email a professor to inquire about a position, read about the lab and its research to assess whether it is a good fit for your interests. In your your email, you should state clearly (1) why you find that lab's specific research interesting, and (2) how joining a lab will contribute to your long term career goals. You should also attach your resume to the email.*

If you sound like a good candidate for Ravenscraft Lab, and if we expect to have sufficient resources to mentor you, we will encourage you to apply to the LSAMP, UROP, UGRAP, or McNair programs. You can find more information about these programs here. We are happy to help you with your application(s) to these programs. Alternatively, you can also work in the lab in exchange for course credit.

LSAMP application (click here):

deadline for Summer: November - February

UROP application (click here):

deadline for Spring: October
for Summer: March
for Fall: March - June

UGRAP application (click here):

deadline for Spring: October

for Summer: March

for Fall: March - June

McNair application (click here):

deadline: October - January

Getting a spot in the lab can take multiple semesters, but genuine interest and persistence (in that order) mean a lot!

* If you don't yet have a resume, you can find many examples online if you google "undergraduate resume" or similar. We recommend that you visit UTA's career center for advice crafting or revising your resume. Click here for helpful tips, information and hours. Even if you aren't able to join the lab, starting a resume will serve you well for future job applications.

bottom of page