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Graduate opportunities are available in the lab for prospective Ph.D. students wishing to pursue topics in quantitative population and community ecology, particularly in freshwater systems. While strong applicants will be considered regardless of specific interest, we are particularly seeking students to participate in new projects related to responses of freshwater systems to global change.


The first such project aims to quantify the effects of demographic and environmental stochasticity on freshwater community assembly across spatial contexts (headwaters vs. mainstems) and latitudes (temperate vs. tropics). By combining field surveys with modeling, the Anderson Lab and collaborators aim to develop a framework for projecting responses of freshwater communities to global change. This work is funded through a joint NSF/São Paulo Research Foundation grant with collaborators in the eastern US and the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil.

A second focal area is how flow and dispersal connections among different types of alpine freshwater habitats influence biodiversity patterns. Alpine freshwater habitats are especially susceptible to global change agents, and ecosystem level connections may alter responses from what would be expected from abiotic drivers alone. Opportunities for alpine freshwater fieldwork are available at established research reserves in southern California, the eastern Sierra Nevada, and Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Focal projects will benefit from the interplay of empirical work and modeling. While previous modeling experience is not necessary, a desire to learn and apply mathematical or computational methods is a plus.

Successful applicants will be enrolled in the graduate program in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology that has over 30 cooperating faculty from numerous campus departments. Funding for a stipend and health benefits will be provided to the successful applicant through graduate research and teaching assistantships. Fellowship opportunities from campus and graduate program sources, including a Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need award, are also available for qualified individuals.

Through formal and informal training, students in will have the opportunity to gain marketable skills based on interest in mathematical and computational modeling, statistics, computer programming (in R, Mathematica, or Julia), laboratory techniques, field sampling of aquatic biota, spatial analysis, and outreach/mentorship. Assistance with grant proposal writing, pedagogy, and quantitative skills is also available through UCR’s Graduate Division. Additional information can be found on our websites about the UCR campus, graduate studies at UCR, and the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology.

The University of California, Riverside is a highly diverse and rapidly growing campus located in the historic city of Riverside, California. The campus is located within one hour of downtown Los Angeles, a city that provides world-class cultural opportunities. Riverside also provides easy access to numerous outdoor recreational areas, including forest, alpine, ocean, and desert environments.

UCR is designated as both a Hispanic Serving Institution and an Asian-American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The majority of UCR’s undergraduates are the first in their families to go to college, and empowering social mobility is at the core of UCR’s educational mission. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, and the members of the Anderson Lab fully support the University of California Riverside Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy and UCR’s Principles of Community.


THE GRADUATE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR PRIORITY CONSIDERATION IS JANUARY 5th. Prospective students should contact Dr. Anderson before this date and provide a CV and statement of interest.

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