PhD and Postdoc openings

We are embarking on a new phase of research on rubyspot damselflies, with joint funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The project title is Interspecific interference, character displacement and range expansion. The overall goal is to make general contributions to knowledge of how behavioral interference between species affects ecological and evolutionary processes. This is a collaboration between our lab at UCLA and Jonathan Drury’s lab at Durham University. For a brief summary of the scientific aims and broader impacts of the project, click here. To read about our past discoveries with this highly tractable study system and the theoretical advances they led to, see publications.

At UCLA, we seek to recruit one Postdoctoral Scholar and one Ph.D. Student, to work together with the PIs and other project collaborators and participants. The anticipated start date for the postdoc is February 1, 2022. The Ph.D. student will start in September 2022.

The project entails several months of intensive fieldwork on rivers and streams in Central and North America. The UCLA postdoc and Ph.D. student will both be expected to spend extended periods in the field, take on leadership roles, and participate fully in the data analysis and writing phases of the project. The project also includes genomic benchwork and phylogeographic and landscape genomic analyses at Durham University.

A strong background in ecology and evolution, and prior field research experience, are requirements for both positions. Spanish language proficiency is highly desired. No special knowledge of insects is required. Qualifications for the postdoc position include a track record of high-quality research in ecology and evolutionary biology (broadly defined), a strong publication record, excellent data management and statistical skills, and leadership experience. We value diversity of all kinds and embrace the University of California’s nondiscrimination policy. Please note, however, that the fieldwork is physically demanding and requires fine-motor skills and “normal” (trichromatic) color vision.

To apply for either position, please email your CV, a cover letter, names and email addresses of  2-3 references, and pdfs of up to 3 publications to Greg Grether at The cover letter should describe your research experience to date, any relevant abilities or skills, and your specific interests in joining this project.

Postdoc applications received by October 1, 2021 will be given full consideration. After that date, applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled. The initial appointment will be for 1 year at 100% time, with the possibility of reappointment for up to three years in total.

Prospective Ph.D. students will need to apply for admission to the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology graduate program by December 1, 2021, as described on the doctoral program page of the department website. The successful Ph.D. applicant will receive 5 years of support in the form of Research and Teaching Assistantships (tuition included).

We recognize the importance of research independence at the doctoral and postdoc stages.  While the successful applicants will be expected to participate fully in the project as planned, they will also be encouraged to take the research in new directions.