Damschen Lab Ph.D. Position in Plant Community Dynamics and Climate Change

The Damschen Plant Community Ecology Lab in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is accepting applications for a Ph.D. student position that will start in fall 2019. Our lab seeks to understand the impact of local and regional processes on plant community composition and diversity within the context of global change impacts and potential conservation and restoration solutions. Our research lies at the interaction of basic and applied community ecology, using long-term datasets and large-scale experiments to test basic theory with relevance to applied conservation management. While we work across ecosystem types, we focus on fire-maintained grasslands and savannas. More information about our research group can be found here: https://damschenlab.zoology.wisc.edu/

Outstanding Ph.D. student applicants with research interests that match with any of the overarching themes of our lab are encouraged to apply. In particular, students interested in how disturbance regimes interact with climate change to affect plant communities are encouraged to apply. We have recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to determine how disturbance by fire affects grassland and savanna plant community responses to winter climate change in Wisconsin and would like to accept one student to work on a thematically related dissertation project.

Qualified applicants should have a strong background in ecology and evolution and experience identifying and sampling plant communities. Students who have a background in statistics, are willing to develop their quantitative skills, and have programming experience using R are preferred. Strong writing, communication, collaboration, and mentoring skills are also required. The position will be funded by research and/or teaching assistantships.

To apply, contact Dr. Ellen Damschen several weeks before the application deadline at damschen@wisc.edu with a CV or resume, undergraduate GPA, GRE scores and percentiles, and a brief description of research background, interests, and how they may fit with the broader research in the Damschen Lab. This will allow time to assess whether your research interests fit with our research group before submitting an official application. We value diversity and encourage students from underrepresented groups to apply. Official applications to our graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are due December 1, 2018. Instructions on how to apply can be found on our departmental webpage at https://integrativebiology.wisc.edu/graduate-program/prospective-students/. Please indicate in your application that you are interested in applying to the Damschen Lab. Note that our departmental graduate program name is “Zoology”, but this is a broad program that does not place limits on the taxonomic scope of questions being pursued (plant ecologists welcome!). The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a strong program and rich history in ecological and conservation science. More about ecology at UW-Madison can be found at https://ecology.wisc.edu/.

A pdf version of this information can be found here.