PhD 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 of prairie dogs. We use ancient DNA, field sampling, genomics, 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 available position is part of a collaborative project seeking to understand the constraints on the evolution of plague resistance in black-tailed and Gunnison's prairie dogs. Projects could include: i) using genomics and data from experimental infections to determine the molecular basis of plague resistance, ii) using historically collected specimens to examine rates of evolution of neutral and adaptive alleles across space, iii) landscape genetics and ecological modeling of neutral and adaptive alleles, or iv) other relevant topics.
We are seeking a student who would be eligible for the Louisiana Board of Regents fellowship, but the position could also be supported by a teaching assistantship. The position will be based in UL’s Department of Biology (https://biology.louisiana.edu/) and will include collaborative work with scientists at the USGS Wildlife Health Center, Colorado State University, Northern New Mexico College, and Navajo Technical University. Interested applicants should contact email@example.com for inquiries. The desired start date is Spring 2023, but applicants will also be considered for Summer or Fall 2023.
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, Latinxs, Native Americans, veterans and other underrepresented groups. Students are expected to respect colleagues with different identities.
How to apply: Interested candidates should contact me for more information. The application deadline is November 30 (but earlier applications are encouraged); guidelines can be found at https://gradschool.louisiana.edu/admissions.