Ph.D. Assistantship- Plant Systematics, Boise State University

Ph.D. Assistantship- Plant Systematics, Boise State University, Idaho, USA
GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP (Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) - at Boise State University. A position is available for a Ph.D. student to study the phylogenetics and systematics of Piper section Enckea (Piperaceae). The section comprises ~60 species from the Amazon to Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, consisting of shrubs to small trees. This project will investigate the molecular phylogenetic relationships of one of the earlier branching lineages in the genus using a combination of next generation sequencing data, morphology, and biogeography. Preliminary analyses indicate that some species may not be monophyletic as currently circumscribed, and additional data may resolve cryptic or nearly cryptic species. The Ph.D. student will work as part of our collaborative team of James Smith at Boise State University and Allan Bornstein at Southeast Missouri State University. The student will conduct fieldwork to increase the number of samples, generate the molecular data using a combination of laboratory and bioinformatics procedures, as well as analyze the data using current phylogenetic methods. The student will also examine morphologies of the specimens to interpret evolution of traits within this clade and to understand species boundaries. This may include analysis via scanning electron microscopy (e.g., seed surface morphology). 

We are seeking someone who has a strong interest in evolutionary systematics, is capable of conducting fieldwork in remote areas of the Neotropics, has careful attention to detail, and preferably has at least sufficient Spanish language skills to communicate verbally in Latin American countries. Competitive students will have a Master’s degree, a background in botany, and experience in systematics. Please address your qualifications for each of these points in your cover letter. The position starts fall (Aug) 2018.

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

About the program and Boise
The Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior PhD is a new and modern 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. Further, we have created a network of valuable connections in academia, local relationships with federal and state agencies, nonprofits and NGOs, as well as partnerships with international organizations, all 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 world-class outdoor activities year-round 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 Apply
Please send via email in a single file attachment (include your last name in the file name): a cover letter that states qualifications and career goals, a CV with the names and contacts for 3 references, copies of transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) and GRE scores and percentiles (not combined) to James Smith (email: Please put “PhD application” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until December 15 If you do not have GRE scores by the deadline your application cannot be considered. Top candidates will be asked to formally apply to Boise State’s EEB program by January 20. All admission decisions must be approved by the Graduate Dean.
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.