Field & Lab Research Assistants


March 2, 2018

Start Date

April 15th - May 1st, or soonest thereafter. Preference will be given to those with the earliest availability, but is dependent on prevailing weather conditions (i.e., early vs. late spring).

Project Description & Job Roles

Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are a severe aquatic invasive pest in the Laurentian Great Lakes; damaging commercial and recreational fisheries and altering lake ecology by feeding on a wide range of fish species. Our research group investigates various aspects of sea lamprey behaviour and chemical ecology to discover means that will aid international control efforts. In particular, in 2018 we will focus on: i) the species’ chemical communication system during their terminal spawning migration into streams in spring-summer, ii) their movement tendencies in streams during this period of their life, and iii) estimating sex ratio shifts throughout ontogeny, and what impact that has on control efforts.

Project work will take place near Millersburg, northern Michigan (USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station), and along the east coast of Lake Michigan. Projects may begin as early as mid-April and will continue into late-July. During this time you will be working regularly with staff from the US Geological Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada as well as other MSU faculty and students.

A typical work day will include: travel to remote field sites, tagging sea lamprey for telemetry studies; maintenance of lab and field equipment; data collection, processing and archiving; fish husbandry, preparation of chemical stimuli. A typical work week will be 40 hours in duration, depending on weather. Our studies regularly take place overnight as a result of the species’ nocturnal habits.

Local accommodation is provided at no charge, and transport is provided for travel between the field station, field sites, and other work related needs.


Completion of two or more years of college-level coursework in fisheries, ecology or a closely-related discipline. Conditions in northern Michigan during spring-summer can be inclement (i.e, warm, humid and “very buggy”) and applicants should be comfortable in these conditions for extended periods of time. Applicants must also be comfortable in working throughout the night. You must hold a valid driver’s license, and experience driving four-wheel drive trucks is beneficial. We are looking for responsible and motivated individuals who will work well with others. Applicants will be required to: carry up to 40 lbs; carefully handle expensive equipment; and be able to maintain a high quality work ethic under difficult field conditions.


$12/hr. Shared housing will be provided free of charge.


Provide a brief cover letter outlining your suitability for the position, and include an up-to-date CV. Please include:

  1. your name
  2. a permanent mailing address
  3. telephone number
  4. email address
  5. date of birth
  6. education, including descriptions of relevant classes
  7. work or volunteer experience related to the job role
  8. up to three references with contact information


Send your application to:, Phone: 517-353-0731.

Successful applicants will be contacted via email to confirm their availability to interview. Interviews will take place at Michigan State University, but can be conducted remotely.