Graduate position: UtahStateU.EvolutionaryGenomics

 The Gompert lab in the Department of Biology at Utah State University
> (USU) is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student to
> study the ecological causes and evolutionary genetic consequences
> of fluctuating selection and contemporary evolution. Research in the
> lab addresses fundamental questions in evolutionary genetics. We are
> particularly interested in the genetic architecture of ecologically
> important traits, the determinants of genetic variation and molecular
> evolution in natural populations, and the nature and evolution of species
> boundaries and barriers to gene flow.  This specific position is funded
> through a NSF CAREER award to Gompert. A stipend will be provided via a
> mixture of teaching and research assistantships. Review of applicants will
> begin November 25, 2019. The start date for the PhD project is fall 2020.
> In the struggle for existence, organisms interact with each other and
> with their environment. Variation in climate, weather, and species
> interactions can cause variation in the direction and strength of
> natural selection. Differences in selection across space cause local
> adaptation. However, whether seasonal, yearly or longer-term fluctuations
> in selection are equally important for evolution is unknown. Selection
> that varies over time can cause rapid evolution. It can also erode
> or maintain variation for individual traits or genes, but may or may
> not be an important factor in evolutionary dynamics more broadly. In
> this NSF-funded project, the Gompert lab will use computer simulations,
> experiments, and genome sequencing of populations sampled across multiple
> generations to fill this knowledge gap.
> We are looking for a PhD student interested in collaborating on
> the project. The PhD student will develop computational methods to
> quantify the prevalence, causes and targets of fluctuating selection
> from population genomic time-series data. Additional components of
> the PhD student’s dissertation will be tailored to the student’s
> interests and background. Possible project include: (i) developing
> theory on the consequences of fluctuating selection, (ii) studying
> the evolutionary genomic consequences of fluctuating selection in
> quasi-natural selection lab experiments (with cowpea seed beetles), or
> (iii) identifying the causes and consequences of fluctuating selection
> (or contemporary evolution) using population genomic time-series from
> natural populations of Lycaeides butterflies.
> The successful candidate should have previous training in evolutionary
> biology, population genetics, applied math and statistics, or
> computational biology. Some proficiency with R (or other language, e.g.,
> C) or experience working with population genomic data is preferable, but
> not essential. Students with or without a Master’s degree are encouraged
> to apply. We welcome and encourage enthusiastic and open-minded applicants
> from any nation, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic
> class. For more information about the Gompert lab, including a statement
> of mentoring philosophy and expectations, please visit the lab website
> at
> USU is a public land-grant research university in Logan, Utah (USA). The
> Department of Biology and USU offer excellent opportunities for education,
> training, funding, and collaboration. Graduate students in the department
> have the option of pursuing a PhD in Biology or in the inter-departmental
> Ecology program. Located in the Rocky Mountains, the Logan area also
> offers exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation.
> Interested students should e-mail me ( with the
> following:
> 1. A cover letter describing the student’s background and training,
>   goals and reasons for pursuing a PhD, and the specific reasons why
>   this opportunity is of exceptional interest.
> 2. A CV, including contact information for three academic references.
> 3. A writing sample. This could be in the form of a published or draft
>   manuscript, an undergraduate thesis, or some other substantial
>   document that constitutes scientific writing.