The Ward Lab at Ball State University is seeking bright and talented MSc students for Fall 2018. Research in our lab seeks to understand the factors that control variation in behavior. We work primarily with stream fishes, but projects involving other organisms are possible; specifically, there is a potential opportunity to work on bat ecology. Current projects in the lab focus on two non-mutually exclusive lines of inquiry:
Social behavior, communication systems, sensory perception, and information processing
How do organisms perceive and respond to one another and the environment? This line of research focuses on understanding the mechanisms, function and evolution of sensory and communication systems. Questions asked relate to how animals have evolved to perceive, process, and respond to stimuli in the contexts of mate choice, aggression, and predator-prey dynamics, as well as how behavior develops in response to abiotic environmental cues.
Ecological and evolutionary consequences of human-driven behavioral change on animals.
What drives the behavioral responses of organisms to a changing world? Another focus of our research is to clarify how different forms of human activity (endocrine disrupting chemicals, land-use changes, invasive introductions) modify the behavior of organisms, and the associated ecological and evolutionary implications of these changes.
The Department of Biology at Ball State is a collaborative and dynamic research environment with more than 30 faculty members and ~50 MSc and PhD graduate students. Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana, on an attractive campus 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis. To learn more about admissions requirements and processes, applicants should visit the university graduate admissions webpage (http://cms.bsu.edu/academ…/collegesanddepartments/gradschool) or the Biology Department webpage (http://cms.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/biology).
Ball State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status or any other legally protected status.
For more information, please contact
Dr. Jessica Ward
Department of Biology
Ball State University
Successful candidates will have a Bachelor's degree in biology or a related discipline. Candidates interested in bat ecology research will ideally have a background or interest in statistical analysis and/or modeling.
Interested prospective students should contact Dr. Jessica Ward at email@example.com. Please include (i) a letter of motivation including a maximum 1-page statement of your research interests and relevant technical skills and experience, (ii) a CV, (iii) your GRE scores (if you have them), and (iv) contact information for 3 references.
Funding is available to students through a variety of sources, including teaching assistantships. However, the departmental deadline for applications for assistantships is February 1 2018. Therefore, interested students should contact Dr. Jessica Ward before December 20, 2017. Late applications may be considered.