Ph.D. Positions: Evolutionary, behavioral, & conservation ecology – Tulane University

Ph.D. opportunities in the Karubian Lab

The Karubian Lab ( is seeking applications to begin Ph.D. studies in Fall 2018.

The Karubian lab is based at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, in New Orleans LA. We have an accomplished group of students, and take pride in the supportive and diverse environment our lab and department provide. Students receive TA-ships that cover stipend and tuition costs during their time at Tulane, and several students have received competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and other sources of external support.

The Karubian lab has a strong commitment to linking research to real world conservation outcomes via meaningful engagement with local communities in the areas where we work. Both these projects have important links to contemporary social issues, and incoming students are encouraged to participate in and contribute to these efforts. Please see for more information.

The Karubian lab is committed to increasing diversity in STEM. Students from Latin America and other groups that are traditionally under-represented in ecology and evolution are particularly encouraged to apply.

Prospective applicants should contact Dr. Jordan Karubian ( with a statement of interest and CV.

We are currently recruiting up to 3 students, for the following projects; please state which of the
project(s) you are applying to in your contact email:

(1) Evolutionary ecology and conservation of South American palms.

The over-arching goal of this project is to better understand the forces that regulate distributions and diversity of palms. This student will develop independent research that combines fieldwork on ecological processes in tropical rainforest (e.g., dispersal, competition, survival) with laboratory-based genetic approaches (e.g., population genetics / genomics, transcriptomics). Students will build upon previous and ongoing NSF-funded work that links behavior of dispersal agents to seed and pollen movement; characterizes ecological and genetic drivers of non-random seedling survival; and documents how naturally occurring environmental variation interacts with human activities to shape patterns of diversity. Please see for more information.

(2) Behavioral ecology and effects of lead exposure on Mockingbirds

This student will develop independent research in New Orleans to investigate how exposure to lead, a common contaminant in urban environments, impacts health and behavior of the northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos. Our pilot work suggests that lead levels in mockingbird adults may be associated with increases in aggressive behavior. The student working on this project will characterize pathways of lead uptake; relate exposure to physiological condition, cognition, aggressive behavior and reproductive success; and explore the mechanistic (genomic and endocrine) underpinnings of these effects. Please see for more information.

(3) Effects of habitat conversion on avian diversity and behavior.

This student will continue over a decade of work in a fragmented landscape in northwest Ecuador that examines the impacts of habitat change on avian diversity. The project will involve some combination of mist netting, analysis of satellite imagery, telemetry/tracking, and molecular analysis. Please see for more information