The Jackson lab (www.colinrjackson.com) and Garrick lab (www.rcgarrick.org) in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi are seeking graduate students with interests either in aquatic microbial ecology and/or molecular phylogenetics to work on projects funded by a collaborative NSF Dimensions in Biodiversity grant that focuses on the microbiomes of freshwater mussels.
The broader goals of the project are to understand geographic scaling of diversity and interactions between microbiomes and their mussel hosts, mussel communities, and the freshwater environments in which they perform critical ecosystem services. Discrete sub-components that could form the basis of dissertation work include the following:
Microbiome/Aquatic microbial ecology: patterns in mussel gut microbiomes by species and biogeography, influence of host genetics in determining mussel microbiome composition, role of the mussel gut microbiome in host/holobiont function.
Phylogenetics: development and application of approaches to estimate phylogenetic relationships among mussel taxa, species delimitation, molecular dating, phylogenetic analyses of community assembly, and/or reconstruction of trait evolution.
Interested students are encouraged to directly contact Dr. Colin Jackson (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss potential research projects related to aquatic microbiology and microbiomes, or Dr. Ryan Garrick (email: email@example.com) for projects related to phylogenetics.
The graduate application deadline for Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi is 1st February 2019. Information about how to apply is available at www.biology.olemiss.edu/programs/graduate/application-procedure.