PhD position – trait-based microbial community ecology

I am seeking a PhD student to apply trait-based approaches to phytoplankton or other microbial communities, working either in marine or freshwater systems. Trait-based approaches provide a mechanistic framework for understanding the organization and functioning of ecological communities.
Possible research topics include comparing intraspecific and interspecific variation in key functional traits, experimental trait evolution, trait biogeography, community assembly and responses to global environmental change. The research may include field work on local lakes or at different marine locations, laboratory experiments, analyses of diverse datasets and mathematical modeling. The exact project will be developed based on student’s research interests.

The PhD student will be based at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) of Michigan State University working under the supervision of Elena Litchman (

The deadline for applications is December 1, 2017 but late applications may be considered. The applications should be made through the Department of Integrative Biology ( Contact Elena Litchman ( for more information on the position and the application process.