PhD position at UF: Demography and life-history trait evolution of lizards re-colonizing secondary forests

#SecondaryForestRe-colonization #DemographicModeling #GenomicAnalyses #AnolisLizards #NaturalEnemies #Plasmodium #PuertoRico #Rainforest #FieldWork #Mark-Recapture #Modeling #FieldExperiments

Applications are welcome for a fully funded (4 years) PhD graduate studentship in the Quantitative Population Ecology Lab of Miguel Acevedo at the University of Florida.

The student will conduct research as part of an NSF-funded project in collaboration with Riccardo Papa at the University of Puerto Rico aimed to understand the demographic and life-history consequences of fauna re-colonization of secondary habitats. Our study organism is the lizard Anolis gundlachi—a shade specialist that lives in the rainforest in Puerto Rico. Answering the proposed questions in the study requires fieldwork, demographic modeling, and genomic analyses. The student will contribute to the project, but will also be expected to develop his or her own scientific questions and ideas within the broad scope of the topic.

The student would apply to the Interdisciplinary Ecology Program in the School of natural resources and environment (SNRE).

Our office space is located in the Tropical Ecology and Conservation Building where students and faculty from > 7 countries work in a welcoming and academically productive environment. In our lab activities, we promote scholarship, interdisciplinary collaborations, and professional development.

Start dates: January or August 2019

Qualifications We are looking for a self-motivated Ph.D. student that is interested in answering conceptual questions in ecology and evolution. The potential candidate will devote their time to academic excellence and will be required to spend time away from home in the field (working in Puerto Rico). Candidates with an MSc are preferred; however, applicants with a BSc that have extensive independent research and/or peer-reviewed publications in high-quality journals may also be considered competitive. Because of the nature of this research, candidates are expected to be independent with significant experience working in the field. Skills in ecological modeling and/or genomic analyses are desirable. Interested students should send a (1) a letter of interest describing your educational background, research experience, and how this position helps you meet your long-term career goals, (2) a Curriculum Vitae that includes GRE and TOEFL/TSE scores (if relevant) and GPA, (3) an unofficial copy of transcripts, and (4) contact information for three references by email to Miguel Acevedo (email: maacevedo[at]ufl.edu).

About the University of Florida

The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 50,000 students. It is ranked in the top 10 public Universities in the US. The nearby 3,600-hectare Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, managed by the UF Department of Wildlife Conservation and Ecology, provides an outdoor laboratory for teaching and a site for long-term field research and has been designated to serve as a National Science Foundation NEON core site.

Several units on or nearby the University of Florida campus complement the teaching and research programs of the Department, including The Florida Climate Institute, an interdisciplinary center hosted at UF and comprising 7 Florida universities; Biotechnologies for Ecological, Evolutionary, and Conservation Sciences; the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies; Center for Natural Resources; Center for Wetlands; Center for Biological Conservation; Pre-eminence initiatives in Bioinformatics and Biodiversity; Florida Museum of Natural History; Northeast Regional Data Center; National Ecology Laboratory (Sirenia) of USGS; Florida Field Station (Gainesville) of the U.S.D.A. Wildlife Research Laboratory; Southeastern Forest Experiment Station unit of the U.S. Forest Service; The Nature Conservancy; the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Wildlife Research Laboratory of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and others.

Living in Gainesville

Situated in the rolling countryside of north central Florida, Gainesville is much more than a stereotypical college town. Home of the University of Florida, seat of Alachua County’s government and the region’s commercial hub, it is progressive, environmentally conscious and culturally diverse. The presence of many students and faculty from abroad among its 99,000-plus population adds a strong cross-cultural flavor to its historic small-town Southern roots. Its natural environment, temperate climate and civic amenities make Gainesville a beautiful, pleasant and interesting place in which to learn and to live. Gainesville has been ranked as one of the best cities to live in the United States.

Florida boasts a diversity of fauna and flora common to both southern temperate and subtropical climates and is replete with springs, rivers, backwater streams, lakes, freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove fringes, cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks, sandhills, scrub, pine flatwoods, and rangeland. Nested between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida has more than 2,000 kilometers of coastal beaches and estuaries. Special features include the Florida Keys, which constitute an archipelago of picturesque subtropical islands, and the unique Everglades, or “river of grass,” which sprawls across the vast southern peninsula