Careers in the Plant Sciences

Graduate Student

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Lafayette, LA, USA

Position Title: Graduate Student
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Monday, July 29, 2019
Application Deadline: Friday, January 31, 2020
Institution: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department/Division: Department of Biology
Field (e.g., systematics): Systematics, genomics, population genetics, invasive species
City: Lafayette, LA, USA
General Information: Graduate position: Sigel Lab at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The Sigel lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is currently recruiting a PhD student interested in pursuing research on the phylogenetics, population genetics, and genomics of the invasive aquatic fern Salvinia molesta. Widely considered one on the world's most invasive and understudied weeds, Salvinia molesta poses an extreme ecological and economic burden in the southeastern United States. This project will involve extensive sampling of contemporary populations and historic herbarium specimens to infer the polyploid and reticulate evolutionary origins of Salvinia molesta, as well as characterize its genetic and epigenetic variation within Louisiana and the adjacent Gulf of Mexico Coastal Region.

This project has recently been recommended for funding by NSF as part of the Consortium for Plant INvasion Genomics (CPING), centered out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. This consortium unites
researchers several institutions conducting similar projects that leverage herbarium specimens to better understand the evolutionary dynamics underlying plant invasions. There are multiple years of research assistant support for a student pursing this project. The preferred start date is January 2020.
Qualifications/Requirements: The ideal candidate for this position is a passionate and
motivated scientist with previous research experience in evolutionary
biology, phylogenetics, genomics, or a related field. Previous experience conducting molecular work, phylogenetics, and working with genomic data sets is highly preferred but not required. A desire to participate in field collection, learn new skills, and work collaboratively with others is necessary.
Responsibilities: The Department of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a large and productive graduate program, with relatively low TA
loads, guaranteed funding for PhD students, and many available fellowships.
We also have a strong program in Evolutionary Biology with nine new faculty
members in the last 5 years. Information on our graduate program and curriculum can be found at

Lafayette is a college town in south-central Louisiana in the heart of Acadiana, a region known for its Cajun culture, food, and music. Learn more at
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): If interested, please email Dr. Erin Sigel (; Include a CV, cover letter highlighting relevant experience and motivations for the position, and contact information for three references.

Erin M. Sigel, PhD.
Assistant Professor
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Billeaud Hall, Room 108
Lafayette, LA 70503

Erin Sigel
Compensation Range:
Contact Name: Erin Sigel,