PhD in Student studying Trophic and Quantitative Ecology

 

The Lemoine Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Marquette University recruiting up to two PhD students starting Fall 2020. The Lemoine Lab specializes in Trophic and Quantitative Ecology, using theoretical models, physiological and organismal lab experiments, and field experiments to understand how species interactions shape ecosystem function. Currently, the lab emphasizes predicting how climate change will alter community composition and ecosystem function via altered species interactions. Both students will be supported on an NSF-funded project quantifying the role of insect herbivores in nutrient cycling, decomposition, soil microbial communities, and primary production in grasslands ranging from western South Dakota to eastern Wisconsin. The project will examine how drought modifies ecosystem function using field- and lab-based drought experiments. Students might be expected to spend the summer research season living near the Black Hills, South Dakota to maintain the western experimental sites. Students will contribute to the NSF project while developing their own dissertations related to plant community ecology, trophic ecology, insect ecology, or quantitative ecology.

The Department of Biological Sciences at MU offers students the opportunity to gain a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of biology. The department has recently expanded its EEB program with four new faculty, and also houses large research programs in biochemistry, cellular biology, and animal physiology. In addition, the department has close connections with the Milwaukee Public Museum of Natural History. Several department faculty (including Lemoine) serve as adjunct curators at the museum, and graduate students will have access to a large collection of lepidopteran and coleopteran research collections at MPM, as well as plant growth, insect rearing, and genetic research infrastructure at MPM.

Wisconsin is home to a significant number of ecosystems, including tallgrass prairie, northern forests, wetlands, and western coulee and ridges in the Driftless Area. The diverse number of habitats, coupled with the significant amount of public lands, makes Wisconsin an excellent location for ecological research. Milwaukee is known for its festivals occurring every weekend throughout the summer, often multiple festivals on a single day, including the world’s largest music festival SummerFest.

How to apply: Those interested in applying are encourage to contact Dr. Nathan Lemoine with a 1-2 page cover letter and CV. Suitable candidates will be encourage to apply online. Applicants will need official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional goals and aspirations.

Stipend: Students receive a $23,000 9-month salary, and both students will receive summer support of an additional $7,000.

Qualifications: Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, or a related discipline (math/stats also acceptable). A MSc degree is preferred, but not required. Experience with statistics programming (R, Python, Matlab) is desirable, but not required. The most qualified applications will have good written skills, be independent, exhibit strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, and be able to work outdoors in sometimes adverse conditions. The candidates must meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States a the time of hiring.