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Host-Parasite Evoution


Dept. of Biology, University of Mississippi


Oxford, MS


United States

Last Date to Apply:

15 Jan 2018


The Balenger Lab at the University of Mississippi is seeking a PhD student to join our research group beginning Fall 2018. The student would develop an independent research focus in line with ongoing lab projects. Current topics include 1) the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity by hosts in mediating effects of parasites, 2) the role of parasites in driving the evolution of host resistance and the expression of sexually selected traits. Our studies utilize relationships between common songbirds & the microbial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum AND field crickets & the acoustically orienting parasitoid Ormia ochracea. Projects will utilize some combination of field, aviary, wet lab, and/or bioinformatic approaches; individuals are encouraged to pursue their own particular strengths and interests.


Funding is guaranteed for 5 years, mostly through teaching assistantships, but research assistantships are also possible. Assistantships include benefits, a tuition waiver, and a competitive stipend ($22K for PhD students in 2017). An additional competitive financial supplement is available for top applicants.


Prospective students with a background in animal behavior, epidemiology, molecular biology, immunology, or bioinformatics are strongly encouraged to apply. However, curiosity, determination and a collaborative attitude are the most important traits. Interested applicants should email the PI, Susan Balenger, at balenger@olemiss.edu after seeking more information at http://susanbalenger.weebly.com