The Anderson lab 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
2021. 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 (, 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.

Undergraduate students are eligible for this REU position. If you will
graduate prior to field work, please consider applying to our field
technician positions.

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 change.

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 environment for living, work, and study. We celebrate
diversity in human identity, experience, and perspective. Collectively,
we excel when we learn from each other and when we remain open to new
points of view. We seek to cultivate an inclusive lab culture, open to
people of all racial, socioeconomic, religious, cultural backgrounds,
family structure, gender identities, and sexual orientations, and to
people with disabilities. To this purpose, we encourage applications from
individuals excited to study evolutionary ecology in nature. Members of
the Anderson field team are expected to be masked and maintain social
distancing in public locations as detailed in RMBL and Gunnison county
public health guidelines ( Vaccinations
against COVID-19 are strongly encouraged but not required.

The application consists of a cover letter listing your qualifications,
a CV/ or r¨¦sum¨¦ and contact information for two references, all of
which can be emailed to Dr. Jill Anderson at:

Applications are due by March 25th, 2021

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