Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship-Boise State Un.

Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship in genomics applied to determine sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) adaptations to arid environments, Boise State University, Idaho, USA

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP (Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) – in the Department of Biological Sciences at Boise State University. A position is available for a Ph.D. student to investigate the genomic mechanisms determining the adaptive potential of sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) to heat stress, drought, and herbivory. The candidate will work with collaborative teams of geneticists, ecologists, and modelers across different academic institutions and government agencies. The position will provide a unique opportunity to contribute to an interdisciplinary research program that addresses the National Science Foundation’s research priority of assessing the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to phenotypic expression. 

The primary responsibilities of the successful candidate will be to assemble and annotate the diploid genome of sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), an ecologically and economically important plant species in the western United States. The draft genome will serve as a basis to investigate genomic mechanisms associated with the adaptive potential of sagebrush to heat stress, drought, and herbivory. Unravelling such mechanisms are key to ensure the maintenance of this keystone native plant species (and agricultural crops) in arid ecosystems, especially in a region experiencing the forces of global change. This project will contribute to an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms shaping genomes of flowering plants. 

The Ph.D. student will work closely with our research team that includes, but is not limited to, collaborators at Idaho State University, University of Idaho, University of Nevada, Reno, Brigham Young University, and federal agencies such as the USGS, the USFS, and the BLM. The student will participate in: 1) laboratory work that involves genomic and transcriptomic analysis, as well as metabolomics to profile phytochemical expression and 2) field work, including population sampling and potentially setting up common-garden experiments. Training for both laboratory and field activities will be provided by team members who offer expertise in genomics, population genetics, physiology, phytochemistry and ecology, to provide the student with diverse skills sets and scientific networks so they will be broadly prepared for future career opportunities.

We are seeking someone who has: 1) strong writing and quantitative skills and 2) analytical laboratory experience. Competitive students will have: 1) a Master’s degree in a relevant field; 2) direct experience in genomics, transcriptomics, and/or related bioinformatics; 3) foundational knowledge in evolution, population genetics, polyploidy, ecology. Please address your qualification for each of these points in your cover letter (see “To Apply” below). The position starts Fall (August) 2019.

Stipend and tuition and fees
This position includes support in the form of a graduate assistantships (renewable, 12-month at $25,000), tuition and fee waiver, and health insurance.

About the PhD program and the city of Boise
The Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior PhD is a new graduate program at Boise State University. This program brings together faculty from across multiple academic departments including biological sciences, geosciences, anthropology, and the human-environment systems group to offer relevant courses and provide unique mentorship and training opportunities. This particular project will draw on molecular, chemical, and bioinformatic resources and expertise available through the Biomolecular Research Center ( and affiliated NIH supported INBRE. Further, we have created a network of valuable connections with other academic institutions, various state and federal agencies located in Boise, nonprofit organizations and NGOs, as well as partnerships with international organizations. All of these partners are dedicated to providing students with transformative research and educational experiences for diverse career opportunities. To learn more, please visit:

Students in this program enjoy living in the beautiful city of Boise, which strikes a perfect balance with close-by outdoor recreational activities as well as a vibrant downtown life. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and the capital of the State of Idaho, Boise is frequently featured as a top-ranked metropolis. The city has ample opportunities for year-round, world-class outdoor activities and a thriving arts and entertainment culture. In 2017, US News and World Report ranked Boise the 12th best city to live in the United States. To learn more, please view “Visit Boise” link at:

To Apply
Please send via email in a single file attachment (include your last name in the file name): 1) a cover letter that states qualifications and career goals; 2) a CV with the names and contacts for 3 references (they do not need to provide a letter of recommendation at this time); 3) copies of transcripts (unofficial are O.K.); and 4) GRE scores and percentiles (not combined) to Dr. Sven Buerki (email: Please put “PhD application” in the subject line. 

Applications will be reviewed as they are received until December 1, 2018. If you do not have GRE scores by this deadline your application cannot be considered. Top candidates will be interviewed in early December and asked to formally apply to Boise State’s EEB program by 15th of January 2018. Final admission decisions are approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.

Boise State University embraces and welcomes diversity in its faculty, student body, and staff. Accordingly, applicants who would add to the diversity and excellence of our academic community are encouraged to apply.