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Graduate Students Wanted

Updated October 2019

I am currently seeking 1 MS and 1 PhD student interested in plant conservation genetics utilizing Next-Generation DNA sequencing methods. Both students will be supported by a mix of grant funded research assistantships, UNC herbarium research assistantships, and graduate teaching assistantships. Selected students will receive an academic year living stipend, a tuition waiver, and summer funding support. Students need to be legal US residents, capable of establishing residency in Colorado within 1 year of beginning the program. Students will ideally start in January or May 2020 in order to allow for participation in summer fieldwork.

Master’s Student Position – Mimulus gemmiparus Genetic Structure

This project is examining the genetic structure of Mimulus gemmiparus, a rare monkey flower, that is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. This project is funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Mimulus gemmiparus is known from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and is unique due to its functionally annual habit, rare flowering in the wild, and spread via vegetative propagules. The current work will address four questions. 1) How is genetic diversity partitioned across the range of M. gemmiparus and should the different regions be treated as separate management units? 2) What is the level of genetic diversity contained within patches and localities composed of multiple patches? 3) Is there evidence of inbreeding within populations and patches? 4) Do populations function as a genetic metapopulation? The project will consist of both field collections and population documentation,  lab based genetic work, and providing conservation recommendations to land managers.

Doctoral Student Position – Rare Penstemon genetic structure and taxonomy

Colorado is home to a substantial diversity of Penstemon, beardtongues, with more than 50 recognized species in the state. Two taxa are listed under the ESA, 9 taxa are current or former candidates for ESA listing, and several more have some level of conservation concern. This project, funded by the Colorado Bureau of Land Management, will incorporate both population and phylogenetic analyses to address genetic structure in focal taxa and taxonomy throughout the entire group. Given this is a doctoral project, the selected student will design many aspects of the project. Additionally, students in the PhD program receive their degree in Biological Education. In addition to completing a conservation biology focused dissertation, students also take coursework in pedagogy, learn about education research methods, and spend a semester conducting supervised undergraduate teaching. This degree is ideal for students that are interested in an eventual career as a college professor

Students interested in either graduate position should contact Mitchell McGlaughlin (Mitchell.mcglaughlin@unco.edu).