Multiple PhD Positions Available in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior ~

12 de noviembre de 2009

Multiple PhD Positions Available in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

The Department of Biology at Georgetown University has multiple
opportunities for doctoral study in ecology, evolution and behavior (EEB).

The faculty and graduate program in Biology at Georgetown help doctoral
candidates develop into insightful researchers and effective teachers and
communicators. Funding for graduate study is supported by a combination of
assistantships, teaching fellowships and research grant support. Our program
and institution welcomes students of all racial, ethnic and religious

Students interested in any of the opportunities listed below are strongly
encouraged to contact the relevant faculty member(s) via email. The
Department of Biology graduate program is described at Information about
graduate school application procedures and deadlines can be found at

Community Ecology and Landscape Genetics:
Dr. Gina Wimp is seeking students interested in understanding the mechanisms
that lead to the loss of biodiversity and increased risk of extinction in
fragmented habitats. Dr. Wimp's work takes place in the intertidal salt
marsh where a rise in mean tidal height over the past 60 years has led to a
change in the demography of the two dominant grass species, with the more
flood-intolerant grass (Spartina patens) contracting in size. She uses
manipulative experiments to examine the effects of habitat loss and
fragmentation in S. patens on the abundance, diversity and composition of
the dependent arthropod community. The Wimp and Hamilton labs have
developed microsatellite genetic marker loci to examine the effects of
habitat fragmentation on gene flow in two of the dominant herbivore species
found in S. patens, both of which are flightless, specialist planthoppers.
Interested students should contact Dr. Gina Wimp via email

For further information see the following websites:

Mechanisms of phenotypic evolution:
Dr. Peter Armbruster seeks a highly motivated PhD student to join his
laboratory's research on mechanisms of phenotypic evolution in natural
populations. The Armbruster lab is currently focusing on the invasive and
medically important mosquito Aedes albopictus. This mosquito invaded the US
in 1985 and spread rapidly over approximately 15 degrees of latitude. This
natural experiment in evolution provides an exciting opportunity to identify
the molecular and physiological mechanisms underpinning climatic adaptation
during invasion and range expansion. Dr. Armbruster's research is currently
supported by grants from both NIH and NSF, and integrates a broad range of
approaches, including molecular biology, bioinformatics, physiology, and
quantitative genetics. Interested students should contact Dr. Peter
Armbruster (

For further information on the Armbruster lab see:

Mathematical Population Biology:
Faculty in the Departments of Biology and Mathematics have ongoing
collaborations centered on quantitative modeling and analysis of population
genetic data. Ongoing projects span a wide spectrum of applications
including the development of coalescent models that better suit natural
populations in order to infer biological mechanisms acting on genetic
polymorphism to the development of novel quantitative models to analyze the
evolution of HIV within an infected individual. These projects are highly
interdisciplinary, drawing on approaches and techniques from both disciplines.

Dr. Matthew B. Hamilton (Biology) and Dr. Sivan Leviyang (Mathematics) are
seeking an outstanding student to pursue a jointly mentored PhD in
mathematical biology. The course of study will include classes in biology,
mathematics and computer science, with the goal of providing the student
with a firm background in population genetics, ecology, statistics,
probability, and computation. The specific topic of research is flexible
and can favor theory or application depending on the students' interest.
The ideal student should possess a bachelor's degree in biology or
mathematics (with some course work and experience in the alternate field)
with some experience in computation. Most importantly, an ideal student
will have a strong desire to engage in interdisciplinary research in
quantitative biology. Interested students should contact Dr. Hamilton
( and Dr. Leviyang (

For further information on Dr. Leviyang's research see For further information on the
Hamilton lab see

Empirical population genetics and molecular evolution:
Dr. Matthew B. Hamilton is seeking students interested in using genetic
marker data to test fundamental hypotheses in population genetics and
molecular evolution. On-going empirical projects include using
transcriptome-scale data to compare the molecular clock in annual and
perennial plants, studying temporal genetic variation in striped bass and
testing for the ecological causes of changes in genetic variation in salt
marsh insects. The ideal project in the Hamilton lab is one that combines
empirical genetic marker data collection with mathematical or computer
simulation work to develop novel expectations or hypothesis tests.
Interested students should contact Dr. Hamilton (

For further information on the Hamilton lab see

Ecological interactions, behavior & learning:
Research in Dr. Martha Weiss' lab focuses on ecological interactions
(between plants and animals, as well as predator and prey), with an emphasis
on behavior and learning. Recent or ongoing projects include investigations
of butterfly and caterpillar learning, retention of memory across complete
metamorphosis, the ecological context of defecation behavior, and predatory
wasp learning and foraging behavior. We are also working on development of
hands-on science curricular materials, mostly related to plants and insects,
for use in K-12 classrooms. We seek an outstanding graduate student
interested in these or related projects. For more information see the Weiss
Lab website (,
but be aware that its content is out of date and in the process of being

Arthropod biodiversity and conservation:
Professor Edward M. Barrows is seeking an excellent, self-motivated, and
biology-passionate student to work on a long-term project regarding
arthropod biodiversity and conservation especially in Dyke Marsh Wildlife
Preserve (DMWP), Virginia, near Georgetown University. The study includes
documenting DMWP species, their phenologies and relative abundances in
habitats, and their food-web and other ecological roles in view of global
change which may have significant effects on the Preserve. Dr. Barrows'
Entomology and Biodiversity Laboratory is currently analyzing a huge,
baseline, historical (1998-1999) DMWP arthropod sample. The Friends of Dyke
Marsh, National Park Service, Washington Biologists' Field Club, and others
are supporting this study. DMWP information is at
Interested students should contact Dr. Barrows at

Behavioral ecology, development, reproduction & life history of Bottlenose
Professor Mann is seeking outstanding PhD students in 2011 to collaborate on
her long-term study of wild bottlenose dolphins. Dr. Mann directs the Shark
Bay Bottlenose Dolphin Research Project, a 25+ year longitudinal study on a
population of wild bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia.
Members of her lab are currently focusing on research questions related to
behavioral development, life history, female reproduction, information
transmission/diffusion, social networks, home range and habitat use. More
recently, members of her team are developing non-invasive techniques for
sampling cetacean genetics, diet, and hormones. Her work is currently
supported by NSF and ONR. Dr. Mann collaborates extensively with Dr. Lisa
Singh in Computer Science. Dr. Mann is not accepting students in 2010 but
will consider applicants the following year.

For more information see

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