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Utah State is a wonderful place to work or study thanks to its proximity to desert, grassland, and alpine habitats, the huge volume of basic and applied research conducted here by university and agency scientists, a low cost of living, and quick access to world class outdoor recreation.

Graduate students

I always like hearing from motivated, prospective graduate students--please contact me if you are interested in joining our group.

Right now (fall 2018), two graduate research assistantships are available in my group. One position is funded on a Department of Defense grant and will focus on analyzing plant population and community responses to climate variation in long-term data sets from arid and semiarid ecosystems. The second position has more flexible funding, and could support projects related to competition and coexistence, plant-animal interactions, and global change ecology. Both positions could support either MS or PhD students. To apply, please email me (peter.adler [at]]) a cover letter explaining your interest in the position(s), your CV, and contact information for three references by mid-November.

Students working with me can receive degrees through the Dept. of Wildland Resources or the Ecology Center. Minimum requirements for entry into USU’s Graduate Program are a cumulative 3.0 GPA, and 1100 combined GRE scores. Most successful applicants greatly exceed these minimums. All interested candidates must apply to both USU’s School of Graduate Studies, and the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney Ph.D. Fellowships Program.


We just recently completed a post-doc search. No other funded positions are available, but I enjoy working on post-doc proposals with good students.

Summer field assistant

Must summers I hire a field assistant for May-August. Primary responsibility will be sampling plant species composition in research sites at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, in eastern Idaho. Additional field tasks will include seed collection and setting up and fencing experimental plots. Laboratory tasks will include data entry, sorting and weighing plant material, seed viability testing, and digitizing historical data into a GIS. Experience with plant identification or sagebrush steppe vegetation is helpful but not required. Salary will be roughly $12.50/hr. To apply, please email me 1) a cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in plant ecology, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) contact information for three references.