Graduate position: UCalifornia_SantaBarbara.NomophilaAdaptation

PhD student recruitment

Mazer lab
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology

The Mazer lab in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
at the University of California, Santa Barbara is recruiting one or two
highly motivated PhD students (for entry into our graduate program in
Fall 2018) to conduct both collaborative and independent research to
investigate the process and outcome of adaptive evolution within and
among populations of the annual forb, Nemophila menziesii (Baby Blue
Eyes, Boraginaceae).

Successful candidates will participate in a recently funded NSF
grant (“Evolutionary adaptation to intensifying drought across a
geographic gradient: a comprehensive evaluation of Fisher’s Fundamental
Theorem”, with Dr. Amber Nashoba and Dr. Ruth Shaw) in which we are
using quantitative genetic methods to test predictions derived from
Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem in wild populations of N. menziesii
distributed across an aridity gradient in California.  Incoming students
will also be expected to develop and to conduct independent research
that extends beyond the scope of the research supported by this grant.
Promising areas of research include (but are not restricted to):

(a)   the ecological and evolutionary significance of variation within
and among populations in prospective fitness-related traits such as
germination responses, flowering time, flower size, herkogamy and
dichogamy, pollen performance, seed size, and sex allocation;

(b)    pre- and post-pollination sexual selection on primary and secondary
sexual traits;

(c)    the functional significance of variation in floral and vegetative
pigments, including UV reflectance/absorption;

(d)    the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in life history and
morphological traits; and

(e)    the causes and consequences of variation in water use efficiency
across an aridity gradient.

Funding packages offered to highly competitive candidates will include a
combination of Graduate Research assistantships, Teaching Assistantships,
Block Grants, and UCSB-funded graduate fellowships.  Students who have
already earned a Master’s degree in Botany, Evolution, or Plant Ecology,
or who have applied for a NSF Graduate Fellowship, would be particularly
strong candidates. UCSB and EEMB encourage and welcome applicants who
contribute to the diversity of the campus’ community.

Prospective students interested in exploring this opportunity may write
directly to Professor Susan Mazer (

Graduate students may apply electronically to UCSB’s Graduate Division
via the following URL:

For more information about UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and
Marine Biology, please explore:

Susan Mazer
Director, California Phenology Project
President, California Botanical Society
Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

office: 805-893-8011
FAX: 805-893-2266