Graduate student opportunities

I am always looking for motivated students to join my lab. Interested applicants should read through some of my recent publications to evaluate fit, and contact me to discuss opportunities.

Opportunities for Fall 2021. Understanding and Predicting Plant Trait Distributions across Northern Alaska for Modeling Arctic Tundra Carbon Dynamics. I am recruiting a PhD student to study the drivers of plant trait distributions in tundra communities of northern Alaska. The student will be part of an exciting collaborative team funded by the DOE to develop capacity for the remote estimation of aboveground and belowground plant functional traits and streamline their inclusion in process models to quantify and predict regional carbon balance.

The candidate will strive to advance fundamental understanding of trait-environment relationships and trait covariation at the community- and PFT-levels to improve prediction of plant trait responses to climate change by investigating the variation in aboveground and belowground plant traits across the major tundra vegetation communities present along local soil gradients nested within a macroclimate gradient in northern Alaska. Research tasks will include field work in northern Alaska, lab analyses, and empirical modeling.

Qualified applicants should have a M.S. (or equivalent experience) in ecology, biology, environmental science or a closely related field. Applicants should be able to work independently, but also cooperatively with other researchers. Applicants should also have a strong work ethic, ability to problem solve, demonstrated writing and quantitative capabilities, and a record of leadership. The position is available starting Summer 2021 and includes four guaranteed years of funding (stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance).

To apply, please contact me directly at by November 23rd with a CV, a statement of motivation to conduct a PhD in plant ecology at the University of Illinois, and an example of your scientific writing.

Students may choose a degree program through either the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) or the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (PEEC). Official applications to these graduate programs are due December 1 and interviews typically occur in early February.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage a diversity of applicants to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law.