Pacific land snail phylogeography - grad student project

Robert H. Cowie cowie at HAWAII.EDU
Tue Dec 3 12:38:46 CST 2002

I am looking for a graduate student to work with me, beginning the fall
semester 2003, on a major project to understand the Pacific-wide
phylogeography of the land snails of the family Succineidae.

The grad student would enroll in the PhD program of the Department of
Zoology at the University of Hawaii. Support for the student could be
from a number of sources, but ideally from a grant that has been
submitted to NSF to support this project. I do not yet know whether this
grant will be funded. However, given the deadline for applications to
the University of Hawaii, I am putting this announcement out now.

The goal of the project is "To develop a hypothesis of the phylogenetic
and geographic origins and diversification of Pacific island succineid
land snails."

Nowhere, in relation to land area, does land snail diversity reach the
level it does in the Pacific islands. This study will be the first
comprehensive Pacific-wide study of the phylogenetic and geographic
origins and routes of colonization, combining both molecular (COI, 16S,
ITS) and morphological information, for a large taxonomic group in the
Pacific basin.

Because of the geological nature of the Pacific - islands formed in situ
by "hot spot" volcanism - the evolution of Pacific island biodiversity
is dominated by dispersal followed by intra-island radiation. Given this
general scenario, we will address several questions, based on hypotheses
we have generated from preliminary study, including:
1) How frequent is dispersal between islands and archipelagos?
2) What are the routes of colonization into the Pacific?
3) What is the pattern of intra-archipelago diversification?
4) What are the taxonomic (generic) affiliations of the Pacific island

I am looking for a grad student to undertake part of the molecular work
as part of his/her dissertation research. If you are interested and have
experience in DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis (perhaps a
masters degree), please contact me (details below). Please also check
the University of Hawaii Zoology Department website
( for application details - the deadline
is 15 January 2003.

Dr. Robert H. Cowie
Center for Conservation Research and Training
University of Hawaii
3050 Maile Way, Gilmore 408
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Phone: (808) 956 4909
Fax: (808) 956 2647/9608

Samoan Snail Project:
IUCN (Tentacle):

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