A postdoctoral opportunity is anticipated in the research group of Anne Leonard (University of Nevada, Reno), for an NSF-funded project focusing on how the composition of floral rewards links members of plant communities via shared pollinators. The project uses insights from nutritional ecology to explore theâ€¨ strategies plants use to manage interactions with their pollinators via reward composition, and how the success of such strategies depends upon the offerings of co-flowering plant species. Broadly, the project combines behavioral experiments in a lab setting (to identify bumblebee foraging patterns) and field-based experiments testing these ideas in Sierra Nevada wildflower communities (involving chemical analyses of floral rewards, observations of bee behavior, and drone-based techniques to map floral resources). The postdoc would be able to focus on a research area suited to their expertise and interests.
A good fit for this position would likely have a PhD in ecology or behavior, and training in at least one of the focal areas covered by the grant: pollination biology, animal cognition, nutritional ecology or chemical ecology. Candidates should be able to think independently about experimental design and analyses and have well-developed skills in oral and written communication, as they will have the opportunity to develop their own research within the framework of the funded project. Start date is flexible (ideally either early summer or during fall 2019), with funding for up to three years based upon satisfactory progress. UNR limits postdoctoral positions to employees who are within 5 years of attaining their PhD; the potential duration of the position means that it probably makes the most sense for recent graduates or those who are within ~3 years of getting their PhD.
The Biology Department at UNR has particular strengths in plant-insect interactions, behavioral ecology, and chemical ecology. The interdisciplinary program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology sponsors a colloquium series and discussion groups on plant-animal interactions; the postdoc would also have the opportunity to interact with the new Hitchcock Center for Chemical Ecology. Reno is situated in the high desert on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, 30 minutes from scenic Lake Tahoe and 3.5 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Those interested should email [email protected] with a single PDF containing: (1) Cover letter indicating relevant experiences and interests (2) CV (3) Names and contact information for two references. Review of materials will start April 1. For more information about our friendly and collaborative lab group, please visit http://www.anneleonard.com