3 Phd positions in ecology (Nevada, USA) ~ Bioblogia.net

6 de noviembre de 2015

3 Phd positions in ecology (Nevada, USA)

We have two major projects starting at the University of Nevada, Reno with 3 Ph.D. positions available.  Please pass this announcement on to potential candidates.  Thank you!

PhD Graduate Research Assistantship in Neotoma evolutionary genetics and ecological adaptation.

A Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship is available to study ecological adaptation and hybridization between two species of woodrats (genus Neotoma) in California. The goal of the project is to identify how diet-based ecological adaptations may influence aspects of pre- and post-zygotic isolation. The student will play a large role in the design and implementation of field and laboratory-based studies that include analysis of gene expression and microbiome changes in pure and hybrid genotypic classes as they are exposed to chemically-distinct, field-based diets. The student will also participate in a high school outreach program focused on teaching genetics, ecology and evolution. Candidates should be creative and highly motivated with strong writing and communication skills. Candidates must have a B.S. (and preferably an M.S.) in biology or a closely related discipline. Candidates must have field experience (preferably with small mammals), ability to work under rigorous field conditions and lead field crews under their supervision, some genetics laboratory experience and interest in science education.

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantships (2). Pygmy rabbit ecology, demography, and landscape connectivity.

Two Ph.D. research assistantships are available at the University of Nevada-Reno on a project focused on building a quantitative understanding of the ecology, demography and population connectivity of the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) in Nevada. The pygmy rabbit is a sagebrush specialist that is broadly (but non-continuously) distributed across the Great Basin. Like other habitat specialists, the pygmy rabbit is expected to be particularly vulnerable to climate change. Further, because of the predicted loss and degradation of sagebrush ecosystems over the coming decades, it is critically important to identify key areas that may serve as refugia or movement corridors for pygmy rabbit and other sagebrush obligates while large, relatively intact sagebrush tracts remain available for study. The goal of this project is to quantify population dynamics and dispersal/colonization capabilities of the pygmy rabbit in Nevada to develop a more complete view of the habitat and landscape characteristics that sustain local and regionally connected populations.
Although both students will be expected to collaborate extensively, we expect that one Ph.D. student will focus primarily on landscape genetics (advised by Dr. Marjorie Matocq), while the other student will focus on demography and population modeling (advised by Dr. Kevin Shoemaker). Field research for both students will include trapping and marking pygmy rabbits and collecting tissue samples at numerous sites in Nevada. Laboratory work for the landscape genetics student will include generating genetic/genomic datasets to quantify reproductive success and relatedness within populations and genetic connectivity among populations. "Laboratory" work for the population ecology student will include estimating vital rates such as fecundity and survival from capture-mark-recapture data, using a geographic information system to identify suitable habitat patches and modeling functional connectivity, and constructing spatially explicit, individual-based population models. Applicants should be hard-working, self-motivated field biologists prepared to work under rigorous field conditions and able to lead field crews under their supervision. Both candidates should have field experience with small mammals, basic literacy in data management and statistical analysis, and strong writing and communication skills. The genetics student should have genetics laboratory experience, and the population ecology student should have proficiency in the use of geographic information systems and competence with computer programming is highly desirable. Driver’s licenses are necessary for both positions. Applicants must have a B.S. (and preferably an M.S.) in biology or a closely related field.

To apply for one of the above positions, please submit the following as a single PDF email attachment: a letter stating your qualifications and career goals, CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information for three references (not letters).  Review of applications will begin November 20, 2015 and will continue until the positions are filled.  Send application to Dr. Marjorie Matocq, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada 89557 (775-784-4621; mmatocq@cabnr.unr.edu). See the following websites for further information about the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (http://www.unr.edu/eecb) and our lab (http://naes.unr.edu/matocq/).

Marjorie Matocq, Ph.D.
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
University of Nevada Reno
Reno, Nevada 89557

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