Graduate student opportunity

Margaret K. Thayer mthayer at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG
Fri Nov 2 19:11:15 CST 2001


[please excuse cross-posting]

I am recruiting an energetic graduate student (preferably one seeking a
Ph.D.) to do systematic research on one of several monophyletic groups of
austral staphylinid beetles.  The student will be part of a team based at
the Field Museum of Natural History for a 5-year project "Monography,
Phylogeny, and Historical Biogeography of Austral Staphylinidae
(Coleoptera)" under NSF's PEET program (Partnerships for Enhancing
Expertise in Taxonomy).  The student's research will include a monographic
revision based mainly on adult morphological data and phylogenetic and
historical biogeographic analyses of the chosen group.  Larval morphology
will also be included to the (limited) extent possible, and training in the
acquisition and use of molecular data will be required.  Other team members
(PI Margaret Thayer, co-PI Alfred Newton, and post-doc Alexey Solodovnikov)
will be doing comparable monographic projects on other groups, and team
members will collaborate on general biogeographic papers.  Besides the
published monographs, creating and disseminating electronic versions of
research results (via WWW and/or CD) is an integral part of the project,
and training new systematists as experts in Staphylinidae is a fundamental

The project will include team field work in Chile (and possibly Argentina),
New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, giving the student experience in
international field work, effective field techniques for Staphylinidae, the
opportunity to seek and observe his/her study group alive, and broader
familiarity with the megadiverse family Staphylinidae through helping to
sort the resulting collections.

The most likely university for the student's formal graduate enrollment is
the University of Illinois at Chicago (Ecology & Evolution group of the
Dept. of Biological Sciences), but other local universities could also be
considered.  Stipend, university fees, and research support will be provided.

Prior training or experience in systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography,
beetle morphology, staphylinid taxonomy, and/or molecular systematics would
be advantageous and may improve a candidate's competitiveness, but is not
required.  Please contact me for further information and/or discussion of
your interest in the project by any of the means indicated below.  The PI
and co-PI will both be attending the San Diego ECN and ESA meetings in
December, and would be glad to talk to prospective candidates (or their
present faculty advisors) there.

Margaret K. Thayer              mthayer at
Assistant Curator, Zoology, and Head, Division of Insects
Field Museum of Natural History or
1400 South Lake Shore Drive 
Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
PHONE: 312-665-7741 (direct-dial)
FAX: 312-665-7754

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