Join the lab

To apply: please email a cover letter describing your interests and qualifications, your CV with contact information for 3 references, and an unofficial copy of your transcripts to Dr. Spiesman ( by March 4, 2020.

Master’s position available to study machine learning applications in pollinator ecology

Position announcement

UPDATE: I am no longer accepting applications for this position.

The Spiesman Lab is seeking a highly motivated MS student to join our research group in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University. We study the community and landscape ecology of pollinators and their responses to multiscale environmental change. The MS student will participate in a multi-institution collaborative USDA-funded project. Our goals are to develop machine learning models for automated bee species detection and identification from images and video. The Master’s student will participate in deep learning model development and help develop an image dataset for model training – including new images taken in the field and existing images from online databases. The student will also develop an independent ecological research project in their area of interest. This is an opportunity for students to advance cutting edge and potentially transformative methods in machine learning in the fields of community ecology, landscape ecology, and plant-pollinator interactions. The position will be funded through a two-year research assistantship (tuition and stipend, with the potential for continued funding). Women and underrepresented students in the sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Requirements: Competitive applicants will have research experience in ecology or entomology, interests in pollinators and conservation, and quantitative skills including programming in R and/or Python. Communication skills and the ability to work both independently and as a member of a collaborative team are also desirable. Applicants will need to meet the requirements for admissions into the graduate school at Kansas State University.

Applicant screening and start date: I will begin screening applications on March 4, 2020. The position will start no later than August 2020, although earlier start dates (as early as May 2020) are preferred.

Information about the Department: The Department of Entomology maintains excellent research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and a research insect collection. Nearby field sites include the Konza Prairie LTER and other tallgrass prairie habitat in the Flint Hills ecoregion. Our department was recently ranked the 4th best Department of Entomology in the world by the Center for World University Rankings; these rankings are based on the number and quality of professional publications produced by the department and quality of faculty research. In the most recent rankings of PhD programs in US Departments of Entomology, we were ranked 8th nationally for overall quality by the National Research Council.

Diversity and Inclusion: Kansas State University embraces diversity and inclusion. The university actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others.  The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees.