Opportunity Type:

We are seeking postdoctoral and graduate students from diverse backgrounds to participate in a fully funded working group focusing on exploring the role of evolutionary processes in long-term ecological research, with an emphasis on grassland plants. The aim of this working group is to facilitate collaborations between ecologists and evolutionary biologists by realizing the opportunity that Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites provide for conducting eco-evolutionary research.

Biologists increasingly recognize that ecological and evolutionary processes are closely linked. This is particularly relevant in the context of global change, where environmental conditions may change rapidly, and species may adapt to the novel conditions in a comparable timeframe. Unfortunately, studies that examine the interactions and feedback loops between evolutionary and ecological processes, particularly in long-term ecological studies, are rare. The working group will address this problem by first identifying barriers that exist to developing evolutionary biology work at LTER sites and, second, identifying possible solutions. In doing so, the working group will develop a framework for how to best implement future eco-evolutionary research in a long-term ecological research context. Lastly, the main goal of this working group is to unite early-career ecologists and evolutionary biologists with postdoc and graduate students to create a new cohort of eco-evolutionary scientists!

The working group will be held at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge LTER in La Joya, NM on May 9th–12th, 2022. We expect participants will arrive Sunday night (May 8th) and depart Friday morning (May 13th). Travel to/from and accommodation at the UNM Sevilleta Field Station will be provided, and all meals will be catered for the duration of the working group. There will be no costs for participants. The format will be a daily morning plenary, followed by break-out focus groups, evening graduate and postdoc posters, and informal discussion. Please be aware that we will be abiding by CDC guidelines and requiring proof of vaccination to attend in-person. Remote participation will also be available to those who cannot or do not feel comfortable attending in-person. Our goal is to hold a productive meeting where all feel safe and comfortable – as such, we will be monitoring the ever-changing situation and making changes when necessary!

The organizers of the working group greatly value diversity, equality of opportunity, and human dignity. Scientists who are LGBTQ+, Black, Hispanic, Latin(o/a), Indigenous, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, two or more races/ethnicities, or veterans are especially encouraged to apply. To apply, email Jenny Cocciardi (jenny.cocciardi@jhu.edu) with the subject line “Evo-LTER Working Group Application” with; 1) a copy of your CV, 2) an abstract describing research that you would like to present on at the working group (limit 300 words), and, 3) a one-page diversity, equity, and inclusion statement describing your experiences and commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. The research may be in the fields spanning ecology and evolutionary biology, but preferably with an element of both (including, but not limited to; plant eco-evo-devo biology, global change ecology, adaptation to climate change, phenology, plant physiology and morphology, phenotypic plasticity, quantitative genetics and genomics, community ecology, population genetics, etc.). Applications are due March 4th and applicants will be notified of the decision to attend by March 14th, 2022. Undergraduate students who have conducted research that they feel fits well with the working group’s main aims may also apply. Applicants are encouraged to email Jenny Cocciardi (jenny.cocciardi@jhu.edu) with any questions and inquiries on the working group!