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Ph.D. Position Available in Population and Community Ecology at Virginia Tech

Graduate & Postdoc
Expiration Date: 

The Mims Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech is recruiting a Ph.D. student to begin in 2020. We seek an enthusiastic candidate with strong communication skills and an interest in collaborative, team-based work in population and community ecology in temporary lentic systems. Candidates with interests and experience in population genetics/genomics, community ecology, remotely sensed data, and/or freshwater ecology are encouraged to apply.  

The Ph.D. student will develop a project building upon ongoing research on the seasonality, predictability, and connectivity of temporary ponds in an arid landscape. Specifically, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to leverage ongoing research efforts in the San Rafael Valley, Arizona, to develop their own focal research area(s). Options for focal areas include: population genetics/genomics and phenology of the Arizona treefrog; characterizing hydroperiod regimes of a pond network; linking environmental stability with population and community stability through space and time; among others.

Competitive candidates will have a demonstrated record of research experience, including but not limited to a M.S. degree and/or relevant professional experience. Previous experience in the area of greatest interest to the candidate (e.g., genetics/genomics, geospatial data, and/or community ecology) is desirable. This position is funded through a combination of research and teaching assistantships, including a competitive stipend, summer support, and a tuition waiver. The successful applicant will be based at the VT campus in Blacksburg, VA, with the expectation that the student may spend up to 3-4 months per year in the field (Arizona). Professional development opportunities, including conference travel, classes, applications for funding and fellowships, and workshops, are supported and encouraged in the lab. The successful candidate will be encouraged and expected to take part in some of the many collaborative groups at Virginia Tech, including the Global Change Center, the Integrative and Organismal Biology Group, and Stream Team. Upon arrival on campus, candidates will be encouraged to consider VT’s Interfaces of Global Change Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program.  

Our lab is committed to promoting inclusive and equitable opportunities for candidates from a broad range of backgrounds. We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups in ecology and STEM fields, including minority groups, first-generation college students, students from lowincome backgrounds, or students following non-traditional paths to academia. Additionally, Virginia Tech offers financial and community-based support for students from underrepresented groups; please feel free to reach out to Dr. Mims to discuss these opportunities. Interested candidates should send a C.V., unofficial transcript, description of highly relevant past research experience, contact information for 3 references, and 1-2 paragraphs describing their research interests for a PhD project to We will consider applications for an early summer or fall 2020 start date (deadline for application: 15 December 2019). Please reach out to Dr. Mims with questions about this project, the application process, the department, and Virginia Tech. Thank you for your consideration – we look forward to hearing from you!