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Graduate position (M.S.): Evolution of animal communication at Murray State University (KY) in Fall 2018
Grad Positions
Posted May 16
Funding for Graduate position (M.S.) in evolution of animal communication at Murray State University (KY) in Fall 2018 available. 

Note: Funding opportunities have recently become available (see below). To be considered for a TAship and/or the biodiversity stipend, application should be submitted by 5/24/18. 
 
The Beckers’ Lab at Murray State University accepts a Masters student who is interested in the evolution of animal communication starting in the fall of 2018.Our lab uses Orthopterans (i.e., katydids, and crickets) as model organisms to address questions pertaining the evolution of animal behavior. More specifically, we study the effects of the environment (i.e., phenotypic plasticity) on mating songs. In our main study species, Neoconephalus triops, day length induces two substantially different mating songs. These differences in the songs are comparable to species differences within the genus. In a collaboration with two other labs (Missouri and West Virginia), we study the genetic underpinnings of this behavioral plasticity and how the involved genes related to speciation within the genus.
A second line of research focuses on the evolutionary arms race between katydid hosts and their eavesdropping parasites in the local population of N. triops.The flies use the katydid mating songs to find their hosts and deposit deadly larvae on them. Thus, sexual selection and natural selection act in opposing directions on male singing behavior. The evolutionary ramifications of this deadly parasitism on male singing and mate acquisition behavior are the focus of future studies. 
 
I seek driven, enthusiastic, and focused students to join my lab at Murray State University. Successful applicants have a B.S. in biology, ecology, or related discipline and are interested in studying animal behavior and evolution. If you are interested in this opportunity and/or have any questions, please email Dr. Beckers at obeckers@murraystate.edu. For your application, make sure to address in an attached document your research interests, how they relate to the Beckers’ lab research, and your GPA. 
Funding for tuition and a summer stipend are available for the N. triopsplasticity project through a grant. In addition, a TAship ($10,000/year) and a biodiversity stipend ($10,000 per year + research supplies and meeting expenses) are available. Review of applications starts immediately. Once you indicated interest in the position, an interview will be set up shortly after.
 
Please find more information on Dr. Beckers’ research here:
https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/CollegeOfScienceEngineeringandTechnology/CollegeOfSciencePrograms/biologyDept/faculty/oliver-beckers/index.aspx
 
 
Information on the Department of Biological Sciences at MSU:
https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/CollegeOfScienceEngineeringandTechnology/CollegeOfSciencePrograms/biologyDept/faculty/