PhD Opportunity in Disease Ecology at UConn

The Knutie lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut is recruiting highly motivated applicants interested in pursuing a PhD in disease ecology and evolution. The lab uses a combination of fieldwork, molecular techniques, and bioinformatics to explore questions related to the evolutionary ecology of host defenses against parasites, particularly in response to environmental change.  The PhD student will be expected to develop a novel research project in animal disease ecology and/or evolution using one of the PI=E2=80=99s host systems=  (birds or frogs) in the Galapagos Islands, Connecticut, Florida, or Minnesota. For more information about current research in the lab, please see:

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply but preference will be given to applicants with a Master=E2=80=99s degree in Ecology and Evolution=  or a related field, at least one first-authored publication, and/or extensive experience with lab and field-based research. Although academic scores are important for admission to the program, motivation and a passion for science and nature are highly valued. Applicants from a minority background (e.g. ethnic, racial, gender, LGBTQ+, first generation college student) are encouraged to apply.

The application process requires submission of the formal graduate school application pages, transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of reference, a personal essay, and, for non-native speakers of English, TOEFL or IELTS scores. If admitted to the program, full financial support (TA and/or RA) is generally provided for five years. More information for prospective EEB Graduate students:

For full consideration, applications must be submitted by December 15, 2017. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Sarah Knutie ( before applying to the program to discuss research interests and your application.

Publications related to current projects:

Knutie, S.A., J.P. Owen, S.M. McNew, A.W. Bartlow, E. Arriero, J.M. Herman, E. DiBlasi, M. Thompson, J.A.H. Koop, D.H. Clayton. 2016. Galapagos mockingbirds are tolerant hosts of introduced parasites that affect Darwin=E2=80=99s finches. Ecology 97:940-50. doi: 10.1890/15-0119.1

Knutie, S.A., S.M. McNew, A.W. Bartlow, D.A. Vargas, D.H. Clayton. 2014.
Darwin=E2=80=99s finches combat introduced nest parasites with fumigated co= tton.
Current Biology 24: R355-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.058

Knutie, S.A., J.M. Herman, J.P. Owen, D.H. Clayton. 2017. Tri-trophic ecology of native parasitic nest flies of birds in Tobago. Ecosphere. doi:

Knutie, S.A., C.L. Wilkinson, K.D. Kohl, J.R. Rohr. 2017. Early-life disruption in amphibian microbiota affects later-life resistance to parasites. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00119-0

Knutie, S.A., C.L. Wilkinson, Q.C. Wu, N. Ortega, J.R. Rohr. 2017. Host tolerance and resistance of parasitic gut worms depend on resource availability. Oecologia 183:1031-40. doi: 10.1007/s00442-017-3822-7

Knutie, S.A., C. Gabor, K.D. Kohl, J.R. Rohr. In press. Do host-associated microbiota mediate the effect of an herbicide on disease risk in frogs?
Journal of Animal Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12769