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Graduate Student Positions in Animal Behavior
Grad Positions
Posted Nov 20
The Ward Lab at Ball State University is seeking bright and talented MSc students for Fall 2018. Research in our lab seeks to understand the proximate and ultimate factors that control variation in behavior. We work primarily with stream fish, but projects involving other organisms are possible. Current projects in the lab focus on two non-mutually exclusive lines of inquiry:
Communication systems, sensory perception, and information processing 
How do organisms perceive and respond to one another and the environment? 
This line of research focuses on understanding the mechanisms, function and evolution of communication systems. Questions asked relate to how animals have evolved to perceive, process, and respond to stimuli in the contexts of mate choice, aggression, and predator-prey dynamics, as well as how behavior develops in response to abiotic environmental cues.
Ecological and evolutionary consequences of human-driven behavioral change on animals 
What drives the behavioral responses of organisms to a changing world? 
Another focus of our research is to clarify how different forms of human activity (endocrine disrupting chemicals, land-use changes, invasive introductions) modify the behavior of organisms, and the associated ecological and evolutionary implications of these changes.
Interested prospective students should contact Dr. Jessica Ward at Please include (i) a letter of motivation including a maximum 1-page statement of your research interests and relevant technical skills and experience, (ii) a CV, (iii) your GRE scores (if you have them), and (iv) contact information for 3 references.
Funding is available to students through a variety of sources, including teaching assistantships. However, the departmental deadline for applications for assistantships is February 1, 2018. Therefore, interested students should contact Dr. Jessica Ward before December 15, 2017. Interviews will take place shortly thereafter.
The Department of Biology at Ball State is a collaborative and dynamic research environment with more than 30 faculty members and ~50 MSc and PhD graduate students. Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana, on an attractive campus 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis. To learn more about admissions requirements and processes, applicants may visit the university graduate admissions webpage ( or the Biology Department webpage (

Ball State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status or any other legally protected status.
For questions of more information, please contact

Dr. Jessica Ward
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Ball State University