Other: UGeorgia.REU.PlantAdaptation

Jill Anderson at the University of Georgia is searching for an
enthusiastic undergraduate with a strong interest in evolutionary
ecology for field research in an NSF REU position (National Science
Foundation, Research Experience for Undergraduates) from June-August
2018. We study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of climate
change for natural plant populations. We focus on research on
Drummond’s rockcress (Boechera stricta in the plant family
Brassicaceae), a mustard plant native to the Rocky Mountains. Our
studies take place around the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab
(http://secure-web.cisco.com/1PdqhNWmtnYboSyGERS6vHzzD5I2Z9pAM2I_r6fMe7Krww4PCaZeFYL0C0vbCot8XRE1tPOR6pl517_SP0wpTbqdO9yhPx0kFEun-PBSoDstO28oMZdS7dHiJbtrCTZl7UTzQMyW-meUBqzVzKzqNHMMf3Ph2Ry0lEFB91xBHHcFZ_1WUiLi-KTpV24qOzGYVgvkyZjHxbux8EJaw71DoxcmtQge1401maOTWIcfEhHWUbAGf_4sCgnvq0R0pNXTIj0BFAgzDrS5FClZwy5jCSQTQm_i6y_6FCgW4xv6DlP0gFO1hlKgWOTdgIJTF0pzvLQ3FpGr5tO36Nor7XRQ54HLV1_k70-58gXFxeKfdFcgKu88RPWSvApxmjHmIGfVWQ88tObhHnMug2_0BzhGhmy0NIBYsK9KB8N4e5hIPwTyTzgNAyIcU79ET2vW2D-c4fElVwNDuI3IBoAhfx4EVZw/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rmbl.org%2F%29, which is located in Gothic, Colorado near the
wildflower capital of Colorado (Crested Butte).  We quantify plant
fitness and traits to ask whether climate change could disrupt
long-standing patterns of local adaptation, and to test whether
phenotypic plasticity will enable populations to persist in the
short-term. We perform large-scale reciprocal transplant experiments to
examine patterns of adaptive evolution and natural selection in
contemporary landscapes. Since fall 2013, we have planted >150,000
seeds and seedlings into five experimental gardens ranging in elevation
from 2500 m to 3340 m (8202 feet to 11000 feet). Our summer research
involves intensive monitoring of these experimental plants to record
data on germination success, survival, growth, reproductive success, as
well as life history and morphological traits. We conduct most of our
work in the field, with a small proportion of indoor lab work.

The successful candidate will assist with ongoing fieldwork. In
addition, there are many opportunities for students to develop
independent projects associated with our overall objectives, including
studies on: 1) population divergence in ecologically-relevant traits,
especially drought, UV tolerance, and herbivore resistance; 2)
phenotypic plasticity at multiple spatial scales; 3) population density
and species composition of the herbivore community that attacks
Drummond’s rockcress; 4) flower color polymorphism; and 5) the
importance of maternal effects in biological responses to climate

We are offering a stipend of $500/week for a full time REU student (40
hours/week) for 10 weeks.  The exact start and end dates are flexible.
We will cover room and board at the Rocky Mountain Biological
Laboratory and reimburse travel expenses up to $500. Fieldwork will
involve hiking to experimental gardens through rough terrain (1-3 miles
one-way daily).

The University of Georgia is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful envi
ronment for living, work, and study.  To that end, all qualified applicants from
individuals with a strong interest in evolutionary biology will receive conside
ration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national ori
gin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or age.  The applic
ation consists of a cover letter listing your qualifications, a CV/ resume and
contact information for two references, all of which can be emailed to Dr. Jill
Anderson at: jta24@uga.edu

Applications are due by March 16^th, 2018.

Feel free to contact Dr. Anderson if you have any questions about the
position.  Additional information about our work can be found at:

Jill T Anderson <jta24@uga.edu>