Graduate Training Opportunities

MS and PhD positions on molecular adaptation of invasive insects

Position Description:
MS and/or PhD research assistantships are available to assess how invasive insects adapt to novel environments. Insect pests can be viewed as model systems in which to explore fundamental concepts in ecology and evolutionary biology. They are especially promising candidates to study mechanisms of rapid evolution at the genetic level, as many insect pests have shown a remarkable ability to cope with pesticides, novel climatic space, and novel host plants. While there are significant challenges in determining adaptation at the genetic level and in finding ways to forecast future changes, there are strong incentives (ecological, economic and social) to do this research. Students will combine population genomics approaches with field ecology and manipulative experiments to understand the evolutionary mechanisms of adaptation. Training will focus on the use of landscape genomics approaches to relate spatial and temporal variation in the environment to adaptive and neutral genetic variation.

Information on University, Department, Lab, and City:
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the major research universities in the United States. This project will be supported in the Department of Entomology and under the supervision of Dr. Sean Schoville. Madison consistently ranks as one of the best places in the United States to live, work, and study. It is Wisconsin's capital city, with a vibrant population of approximately 230,000 that combines small town charm with a variety of leisure and cultural opportunities.

Current annual stipend levels are $20,808 per year before taxes, plus tuition remission and health care benefits. Financial support is available for two years. The start date for the project is September 2014.

A BS or BA degree in entomology, biology or a related discipline is required.

We are looking for motivated students interested in pursuing a MS or PhD degree at UW-Madison. Students with an MS degree will be given preference in admissions to the PhD program. The preferred candidate will have prior research experience and have some knowledge of population genetics. Candidates should have interests in entomology, evolutionary ecology, and working in both the field and laboratory. Excellent writing and verbal communication skills are expected, as well as the ability to work collaboratively.

Application Process:
Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and review will continue until candidates are chosen. The application deadline is Jan 2, 2014. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the following documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock ( (in ONE PDF file please). Please specify in your letter when you would be available to start.

Required Documents:
-The “Entomology; University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Application Cover Sheet” which can be found at:
- A well-crafted cover letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds
- Resume/CV
- Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
- GRE scores if available
- Names and contact addresses of three references

Posted 11/19/2013

PhD Assistantship - Ecophysiology and Genetics of Aspen

Funding is available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to support graduate research, at the Ph.D. level, on the ecophysiology and genetics of aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the context of environmental change. Aspen is a foundation species in boreal and montane forests of North America. Triploidy is common in parts (e.g., Intermountain West) of aspen's vast range, indicating a link between the life history and demography of aspen ploidy, and spatiotemporal variation in climate and associated environmental factors. The graduate research assistant will assume primary responsibility for a collaborative project involving the labs of Eric Kruger (UW Forest & Wildlife Ecology), Rick Lindroth (UW Entomology), Kate McCulloh (UW Botany) and Karen Mock (Utah State University, Wildland Resources). The research will entail comparisons of triploid and diploid aspen genotypes, in controlled-climate, common-garden and field experiments. Traits of interest include ecophysiology, growth capacity, and chemical ecology, and associated responses to abiotic (e.g., climate change) and biotic (e.g., herbivory) stresses. Applicants may pursue admission to UW graduate programs in Forestry, Zoology, Botany or Entomology.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a premier institution for research in ecology and evolution, and has ranked among the top five research universities in the United States for each of the past 20 years. Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in the thriving Ecology ( and Evolutionary Biology ( communities at UW-Madison.

Qualifications: Highly motivated individuals with a strong academic background in plant biology and/or ecology, as well as excellent quantitative and communication skills, are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be able to work independently and as part of a collaborative research team.

Stipend/benefits: A 50% Graduate Research Assistantship is available beginning in spring, summer or fall semesters of 2014. A 50% RA currently provides a stipend of $20,808 (12 mo.), tuition waiver, and excellent medical/dental health plans at low cost.

Applications: Interested candidates should e-mail Graduate Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock a single PDF file containing the following information:
- Cover letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds
- Resume
- Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable)
- GRE scores (if not available, indicate when exam will be taken)
- Names and contact information for three references

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt. Promising candidates will be requested to submit a formal application to a UW-Madison graduate program in Forestry, Zoology (Ecology), Botany, or Entomology. Note that application deadlines for Zoology and Botany are Dec. 31, 2013.

Questions about the position may be directed to:

Eric Kruger (Forest and Wildlife Ecology),; Rick Lindroth (Zoology, Entomology),; or Kate McCulloh (Botany),


Posted 10/14/2013

For additional employment opportunities in the Entomology department, please visit our Employment Opportunities page.


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