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PhD Assistantships (2) in Pollinator Behavior and Diversity
Grad Positions
Posted Sep 18

Graduate Student Positions in Pollinator Diversity and Behavior in the Westerman Lab at The University of Arkansas


The Westerman Lab at the University of Arkansas (the flagship campus in Fayetteville, AR) is seeking PhD students to begin in the Spring or Fall of 2024. We study the evolution, ecology, and genetic mechanisms underlying behavioral diversity and plasticity, with a focus on sensory system development and visual learning in pollinators. Our current research topics include the effect of solar arrays on pollinator diversity and behavior, the effect of genetics and sensory environment in mate preference and foraging preference development, behavioral and developmental plasticity, and the role of perception and sensory environment in ornament evolution.


We are an integrative animal behavior group, and integrate a wide range of techniques, including, but not limited to, field ecology, controlled laboratory experiments, CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing, transcriptomics, and histology. Our research incorporates both pollinators native to Northwestern Arkansas and tropical butterflies, and takes advantage of an on-campus butterfly facility as well as multiple species-rich field sites within a 30-minute drive. We collaborate with members of the Entomology & Plant Pathology Department, and with multiple labs in the Biology Department.   Graduate students will be expected to develop their own research projects within the scope of the lab and on-going funded research. For more information, please visit the lab website:


As a technically integrative lab, we embrace creative approaches to studying animal behavior and pollinator diversity, and welcome students from a wide range of technical backgrounds. We also celebrate all axes of diversity, and welcome candidates from groups historically underrepresented in STEM.  


Interested prospective students should contact Dr. Erica Westerman at [email protected]. Please include a brief description of your research interests and how they fit within the scope of the lab, your CV, your GRE scores (if you have them), and contact information for 3 references.


Interested prospective students should contact Dr. Erica Westerman before November 30th, or by Oct 5th, if interested in a January start.


Deadline for applications for the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas is January 15, 2023 for Fall 2024 admission, or November 1st for Spring 2024 admission:


The Department of Biological Sciences fully funds students through teaching assistantships and research assistantships. However, there are additional sources of funding available through the university (i.e., $12,000-$22,000/yr as supplement to TA stipend) that depend on the qualifications of the applicant. Information about these funding sources can be found here:



For more information please contact:


Dr. Erica Westerman

Associate Professor

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Arkansas

[email protected]