Graduate Position in Conservation and Evolutionary Genomics University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The Cassin Sackett Lab at the University of Louisiana is looking for a highly motivated graduate student to study population and conservation genomics in prairie dogs or associated species (e.g., other rodents and fleas). We use ancient DNA, field sampling, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic approaches to answer fundamental questions in evolutionary biology, especially those with practical conservation applications. Some major questions being asked in the lab are:
How do humans influence the evolution of wildlife? We study the ways in which climate change, habitat alteration, and introduced diseases impact the distribution of genetic variation, rates of gene flow, and the probability of adaptation.
What is the genomic basis of rapid adaptation to novel pathogens? We examine the demographic and environmental constraints to adaptation and whether genomic architecture of rapid adaptation differs from that of more gradual adaptation (e.g., to climate).
The student will work in a collaborative environment on aspects of a project that uses genomic approaches to investigate the potential for resistance to Yersinia pestis, the bacteria causing plague. Projects could include: 1) systematics, co-evolution and vector competence in fleas, 2) landscape genetics, phylogeography and adaptation in prairie dogs, 3) molecular evolution in prairie dogs, 4) evolution in co-occurring rodent species, or 5) other relevant topics.
The position is supported by a teaching assistantship, with the possibility of future RA support pending funding. The position will be based in UL’s Department of Biology (https://biology.louisiana.edu/). Interested applicants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries. The desired start date is spring 2021.
Qualifications: Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in biology, computer science, or a related field. We are looking for a student who is motivated, hard-working, and passionate about topics in evolutionary biology. The student should have or be willing to develop excellent organizational and communication skills, computing skills, and the desire/willingness to engage in outreach. The Cassin Sackett lab is committed to increasing diversity in STEM, and we especially encourage applications from women, minorities, veterans and other underrepresented groups.