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Wednesday, September 2

Three new post docs positions

Hi everyone, 
We have posted three new postdoc positions, please forward these on to all interested parties and post on relevant listservs.

Biotic Community Shifts in California:

The Fellow will coordinate heterogeneous data sources for diverse organisms, potentially from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The resulting database will provide a framework for archiving future data collected at NRS reserves and yield a climate atlas of the NRS network.

Examples of important research questions that could be addressed include 
  • Does compositional turnover along climatic gradients differ between aquatic and terrestrial organisms, or between plants and animals?  Are some groups more sensitive to climate than others, or sensitive to different aspects of climate (e.g., temperature vs. precipitation)? 
  • What are the functional consequences of potential community changes, for example increased dominance by species with different organismal traits?

Population Ecology and Evolution

Individual traits (e.g., physiological rates, germination requirements, sexually selected characters, age at maturity, phenology, lifespan, defenses), population-level traits (e.g. mating system, modes of reproduction, population densities, polymorphisms, reproductive events/year) and species attributes (e.g. geographic range, population differentiation, detection of clines) are all of strong interest. Demographic, physiological, quantitative genetic, phylogenetic and molecular genetic methods may be used alone or in concert to achieve these goals.

Some examples of research questions:
  • Across environmental gradients that present an array of climatic conditions, how has selection or plasticity altered fitness-related traits? Are there genetic signatures of these changes?
  • Environmental conditions may differentially affect co-occurring species. Are mutualistic or antagonistic interspecific relationships altered under different conditions?
  • Across populations of one or more species, is there an association between standing genetic variance (of fitness-related traits) or other population genetic parameters and historical or contemporary climatic conditions? Does the capacity for adaptive evolution vary among populations?
  • Do opportunities for mating, and the strength or direction of natural selection on secondary sexual traits, vary along environmental gradients?
  • To what extent do adaptive phenotypes arise across environmental gradients in the presence or absence of gene flow?
California Ecology and/or Environmental History 

Potential research themes include: 
  • Drawing on related, ongoing efforts to help build and make accessible an archival infrastructure of historical materials necessary to support baseline analyses of ecological changes in the NRS
  • Using historical materials to develop (i) a rich ecological and environmental history of ISEECI/NRS sites to be used as a reference for future work and as a model for similar efforts at other UC reserves or (ii) a taxonomically focused project, examining changes in the distribution and abundance of a particular species or group, as related to climate change, land use, resource management, or other factors. 
Feel free to contact any potential mentors or Becca Fenwick (bfenwick@ucsc.edu) with questions.