Damschen Lab Ph.D. Position in Plant Community Dynamics

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 2021. 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 community assembly, restoration, landscape connectivity affect grassland and savanna plant communities using a functional trait approach are encouraged to apply.

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 primarily funded by teaching assistantships.

Our lab welcomes diverse people and perspectives in our science, our lab culture, and in our broader communities. We openly acknowledge that racism, sexism, and other power differentials are a part of the places and cultures we live in. We are dedicated to continually working to improve our understanding of these power differentials and actively striving to be anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti- any power differential.

Applications due by December 1, 2020. Instructions on how to apply can be found at  https://integrativebiology.wisc.edu/graduate-program/prospective-students/. Please indicate in your application that you are interested in applying to Ellen Damschen’s Lab and write about potential questions you could address that relate to our lab’s research interests. 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!).