A PhD position is available in the Beckman Lab in the Biology Department & Ecology Center at Utah State University to investigate macroevolutionary patterns of trait variation in leaves, fruit, and seeds of trees and shrubs in Panama using a metabolomics approach. Plants experience simultaneous and often conflicting selective pressures from a diversity of antagonists and mutualists that feed on different plant parts at different stages of development. Yet, the large body of theory developed to understand plant defense has focused almost exclusively on leaves and leaf herbivores, with little integration of the important interactions in other parts, such as fruits. This project aims to extend leaf defense theory to better understand patterns of trait variation and interactions that occur across leaves, fruits, and seeds. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Beckman (noelle.beckman AT usu.edu) with a letter of interest, CV, and contact information for two references. In your letter, include a description of your research interests and why you are interested in joining the research group as well as a summary of your prior research experience and your academic background (e.g., relevant coursework). The Beckman Lab is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
Previous research experience with tropical plants or conducting chemical analyses (experience with UPLC is a plus)
Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team
Strong written and oral communication skills
Strong quantitative skills and/or interest in developing quantitative skills