MSc/PhD on the evolution and assembly of small mammal communities. Application deadline: January 1st, 2018.

We are looking for a highly motivated, independent and creative graduate student who is interested in integrating macroecology and macroevolution to study the assembly of small mammal communities. The student is expected to use data on the distribution, phylogenetic relationships, morphology and natural history of 700 species of Murid rodents in the Indo-Pacific region to infer assembly processes of mainland and island communities. The project could be expanded to include other groups of small mammals and other regions of the world in the case of a PhD.

This project will involve collaboration between the team of JP Lessard at Concordia University (www.jeanphilippelessard.com), and that of Pierre-Henri Fabre at Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier, France (https://sites.google.com/site/phylofabre). The student will be in charge of compiling data on the species composition of small mammal communities to complement an existing database. The ideal student will be familiar with multivariate analyses of beta diversity patterns, trait-based analyses of community structure, null models, and manipulation of phylogenetic trees. Some knowledge of diversification and ancestral reconstruction analyses is a plus. Previous experience in geometric morphometric is an asset. However, applications from students without such skills or expertise are welcome. The student will have the opportunity to learn these analytical approaches in the lab of Lessard and Fabre.

Expected starting date is August 2018, but could be as early as May 2018. The positions come with competitive stipends. Selected applicants are expected to apply for external funding to travel between France and Canada and to attend international conferences, participate in regular lab meetings, attend departmental seminars, publish results in peer-reviewed journals and present their research in national and international meetings.

Applicants should email Jean-Philippe Lessard (jp.lessard@concordia.ca) and/or Pierre-Henri Fabre (phfmourade@gmail.com). This email should include: (i) 1-2 paragraphs describing research interests and any relevant past experiences, (ii) a CV, and (iii) an unofficial transcripts pertaining to your previous or ongoing studies. For full consideration applicants should indicate their interest before January 1st, 2018. Deadline for applying to Concordia is January 30th 2018.

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