PH.D STUDENT POSITION IN COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
The Ernest Lab at the University of Florida has an opening for a Ph.D student interested in research in the area of community ecology, forecasting, and/or temporal dynamics to start fall 2020. The student will participate in the collection of small mammal and plant data at our long-term site in southeastern Arizona which will be used as part of our recently funded NSF grant to tackle challenges associated with ecological forecasting under novel conditions. While participation in the field data collection at the long-term site is expected, students in the Ernest Lab are free to develop their own research projects depending on their interests. The Ernest lab is interested in general questions about the processes that structure communities, with a particular focus on understanding when and how ecological communities change through time and how we can forecast those changes. Examples of research that students in the Ernest lab have pursued as part of their dissertation include: Does long-term change in communities occur through gradual species replacements or rapid reorganization events?, Are biodiversity patterns sensitive to changes in biotic interactions?, Do disturbances impact species populations and community-level properties similarly?, and How does the colonization of new species impact habitat patch preferences?
The Ernest Lab is part of the Weecology research group, Weecology is a partnership between the Ernest Lab, which tends to be more field and community ecology oriented and the White Lab, which tends to be more quantitatively and computationally oriented. The Weecology group supports and encourages students interested in a variety of career paths. Former weecologists are currently employed in the tech industry, with the National Ecological Observatory Network, at teaching-focused colleges, and as postdocs in major research groups. We are also committed to supporting and training a diverse scientific workforce. Current and former group members encompass a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds from the U.S. and other countries, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, military veterans, people with disabilities, and students who are the first generation in their family to go to college. We work hard to create a supportive and inclusive lab environment and expect all members of Weecology to abide by the lab code of conduct.
More information about the Ernest lab and Weecology research group is available at: (https://weecology.org). You can also check out the blog for our long-term study (https://portalproject.wordpress.com) and our lab blog (https://jabberwocky.weecology.org; if you’re reading the ad here, you’ve found it already!).
Interested students should contact Dr. Morgan Ernest (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Oct 15th, 2019 to start a dialogue about the position and receive further information about the next steps in the application process.