The Toll lab at the University of South Carolina is recruiting graduate students (master’s or PhD). Students will develop a project on the genetic basis or ecological significance of traits contributing to adaptation and speciation in monkeyflowers. Monkeyflowers (Mimulus, Erythranthe, Diplacus) are an ecological genetic model system with a wealth of natural phenotypic, genetic, and ecological (life history, mating system, habitat, etc.) diversity, coupled with genomic tools to address fundamental evolutionary questions. We are currently working on projects about the genetic basis of abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, adaptive divergence and the coexistence of closely related species, and ecological specialization and endemism to harsh and unusual soils.
The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina has a great ecology and evolution group and a large graduate student community. In addition to our lab, there are many related labs including the labs of Drs. Carrie Wessinger (plant evolution, pollination), Brian Hollis (speciation, evolutionary genetics), and Eric LoPresti (plant-insect ecology and evolution). Columbia is a small city with many parks within the city boundaries and Congaree National Park less than half-hour away, with Charleston, Charlotte, and Greenville also within a couple hours. The cost of living is very reasonable and stipends for graduate students are competitive ($26,000/year for master’s and PhD students).
A bachelor’s degree in biology and an interest in plant ecology and evolutionary genetics is required. Previous experience with any of the following is preferred but not required: plant growth, molecular biology lab work, bioinformatics, and field experience. I encourage all interested students to reach out, no matter your background, GPA in college, or country of residence. We do not require GRE scores for applicants and consider both potential master’s and doctoral students equally. In addition, the graduate school is waiving all graduate application fees this year.
Incoming Assistant Professor (January 2024)
Department of Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina