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Graduate Research Opportunities – Hines Lab

The Hines lab at Pennsylvania State University is recruiting a PhD-level graduate student to work on an NSF-funded project examining the genetic basis of mimetic color diversity and convergence in bumble bees. The graduate student will perform research projects examining the genetic targets of convergent coloration across several mimetic bumble bee systems and track how these alleles sort across a mimetic radiation. This research will involve field trips to collect bees in the western United States, genomic sequencing, and genome wide association analysis to assess the genetic targets of repeated evolution of mimetic phenotypes across bumble bees. Students working on these projects will obtain training in evolutionary genetics/evo-devo, developmental biology, and bioinformatics. Students must have a demonstrated passion for research, and an interest in evolutionary biology, molecular research, and in developing expertise in bioinformatics. The student may pursue additional projects related to insect evolutionary genetics/genomics, pigmentation, bumble bee biology and diversity, and/or bee health for their thesis research. Students can potentially join one of several graduate programs at PSU including: Biology (preferred for this position), Entomology, Ecology, MCIBS, and Bioinformatics and Genomics programs. Please send inquiries to Heather Hines (hmh19@psu.edu).

The Hines lab integrates genetic, ecological, developmental and evolutionary approaches towards addressing questions on the evolution and conservation of Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) (hineslab.org). Graduate students will have numerous opportunities for training as PSU has a strong focus on Bioinformatics and Genomics, houses several project-relevant facilities in the PSU Huck Institute of Life Sciences (e.g., microscopy, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics), is home to the Center of Pollinator Research and Insect Biodiversity Center, and hosts numerous cross-departmental seminars and programs. The student will also engage the labs of co-PIs Jeff Lozier (U. Alabama) and Jonathan Koch (USDA ARS, Logan Utah) in this research. 

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