Research Opportunities

Kawahara Lab Research OpportunitiesPostdoctoral Researchers

Our lab is currently looking for talented postdoctoral researchers. I currently have space for possibly one postdoc. If you are interested in becoming part of the lab, please email Akito Kawahara to discuss potential research projects and funding sources.

I encourage interested potential postdocs to discuss with me the pursuit of external funding such as the NSF Bioinformatics Post-Doc, the NSF Minority Post-Doc, the Marie Curie Fellowship. Please contact me about the possibility of writing a grant proposal that would fund you and your research program.

Graduate Students

I am always looking for good students to become part of our research team. I seek highly motivated students that take their research interests seriously. I believe an integrative research approach is fundamental, and that the student should train themselves broadly and to learn and apply novel techniques in their graduate research. Students should follow their own personal research interests, but I will also provide the guidance when necessary. The lab space itself is located in the McGuire Center Building, which was built in 2006. My students are affiliated with various different departments on the UF campus, thus allowing an environment for an integrative research group.

If you are interested in pursuing graduate work in the Kawahara Lab, please email me with a statement of your research interests and a CV that provides your educational background (GPA, relevant biology, math and statistics classes), related work/field/lab experience, publications if any, and GRE scores if available.

Undergraduate Students

We are always interested in training enthusiastic and talented undergraduate students. Students should be highly motivated and organized. If you are interested in joining our lab, please email Akito Kawahara.


Volunteer positions are now available. There are also positions in the lab for talented high school students.

Volunteer project positions include:

Wing vouchers
The purpose of this project is to create a Lepidoptera Tree of Life through phylogenomics and bioinformatics. Researchers, collaborators, students and volunteers from the Kawahara Lab collect specimens in the field for this project. The specimens are preserved in ethanol, brought back to the lab, and stored at -80˚C until they can made into wing vouchers. Wing vouchers consist of the right set of the moth’s wings flattened and displayed in a coin holder with locality and identification labels on it. Once vouchers are made, tissue samples from each specimen are stored for future use to be used for DNA extraction, and their corresponding vouchers are stored for visual reference of each specimen.

Caterpillar rearing
The Kawahara Lab captively rears various species of sphingid and saturniid larvae. These caterpillars may be used for molecular, acoustic, and behavioral studies in the lab. We also maintain greenhouses that hold the host plants for the caterpillars that constantly need cared for.

If you are interested in volunteering in our lab, please contact Samm Epstein and Geena Hill for more information.