Systematics of Neotropical Butterflies at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History



Postdoctoral Researcher position in butterfly evolutionary ecology at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

Funded by the National Science Foundation

“Connecting the proximate mechanisms responsible for organismal diversity to the ultimate causes of latitudinal gradients in species richness”

A Postdoctoral Researcher position is available at the Florida Museum of Natural History's (FLMNH) McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. The postdoc will form an integral part of the multi-institution team working on the NSF-funded project "Dimensions: Collaborative Research: Connecting the proximate mechanisms responsible for organismal diversity to the ultimate causes of latitudinal gradients in species richness". This project will test the hypothesis that stronger biotic interactions drive faster rates of adaptation and speciation in the tropics, by studying a rapidly speciating group of butterflies, the limenitidines, in the New World. Taxonomic, phylogenomic, genetic, developmental, physiological, and functional data sets will be integrated with ecological data to test multiple predictions of the biotic interaction hypothesis.

The successful candidate will be responsible for conducting and coordinating field studies of Adelpha butterfly communities in the Neotropics, principally in Ecuador, in collaboration with other project personnel, host country students and researchers. Candidates will be expected to spend 3-6 months in the field each year. The goal of field work will be to estimate the strength of biotic interactions in different communities, by surveying immature and adult butterflies to quantify hostplant and microhabitat breadth, territoriality, phenology and selective pressure from predators. The postdoc will also have excellent opportunities to participate in research being conducted at collaborating institutions, including phylogenomics and mapping of genes for adaptive traits.

The postdoc will be expected to help design and conduct field experiments, analyze field data, write and help co-author resulting papers, contribute to curatorial activities resulting from project field work at the FLMNH, and broadly disseminate news and project results. The University of Florida is an R1 research institution and this position will provide many opportunities for the chosen candidate to interact with faculty, postdocs and students conducting similar research. As part of broader impacts, the postdoc may also contribute to the design of public exhibit components highlighting project research at the FLMNH.

The ideal candidate should be highly motivated and have a proven record of conducting intensive, independent ecological research in the field, preferably in tropical regions. Ability to speak Spanish, a good knowledge of Neotropical biogeography and experience in entomology are also highly desirable.

The position is available for three years from January 2015 or earlier, with a somewhat flexible start-date, and includes a competitive starting salary plus benefits.

Applicants should submit the following:

1. Curriculum vitae.

2. A letter of interest describing past and current research and fieldwork experience and long-term career goals.

3. Up to four pieces of work showing evidence of high-quality research, including scientific articles, thesis or dissertation, book or book chapter, or other relevant material that supports the application.

4. Three professional referees qualified to comment on your academic and personal strengths should be asked to send letters of recommendation directly to Keith Willmott (see below).

Submit application materials to Keith Willmott (kwillmott@flmnh.ufl.edu) by May 16th, 2014. For questions regarding this position please contact Keith Willmott at the above e-mail address.