PhD Position in Quantitative Invasion Biology

A Ph.D. Graduate student position with Dr. Matthew Helmus is available at Temple University’s Center for Biodiversity for Fall 2020. Dr. Helmus jointly runs the integrative ecology lab, which is focused on integrating biodiversity science with human ecology to understand contemporary patterns of biodiversity and its functioning within ecosystems (

The Ph.D. student will research the drivers of invasive species spread at global, regional and local scales in general and with a focus on the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). Activities performed may include:

– Data mining and data science
– Modeling in collaboration with applied mathematicians
– Fieldwork in forested and agricultural ecosystems
– Lab and field experimentation
– Mentoring undergraduate research assistants
– Quantitative method development

Applicants must have prior research experience and a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in biology, environmental science, or other quantitative fields. Ideal applicants are those with experience in ecology, statistics, or entomology; but most importantly, the successful applicant will be well-organized, able to work both independently and in a team setting, and motivated to learn. This position is ideal for those craving a career in the exciting, fast-paced world of biodiversity science.

Full applications are due to Temple’s Graduate School on December 15, 2019 (November 15 for international applicants). However, interested applicants should initially email Dr. Helmus well in advance of the deadline (mrhelmus at

Include in the email:
– Cover letter outlining qualifications, experience, and why you are interested in the position
– Curriculum vitae
– Unofficial transcript
– Questions you have about the research, etc.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first peruse the lab website prior to contact.

The Center for Biodiversity is in a new LEED-Gold certified building on Temple’s main campus in historic Philadelphia. The Center provides state-of-the-art biodiversity research facilities along with support staff with expertise in media development, GIS technology, high-performance computing, and genetics. Temple University, founded in 1884, is a public R1 university with a diverse student body of ca. 40,000 students. It is the sixth-largest provider of graduate school education in the U.S.A., is within the top 4% of research institutions in the U.S.A., and is in the top ten of the fastest gainers in ranking by the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges.

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the U.S.A., filled with numerous attractions (e.g., Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Zoo, Academy of Natural Sciences), amazing food, and a quick train ride to New York City and Washington DC. Philadelphia is nestled within an extensive national/state trail and park system and is very close to Valley Forge National Park, the Pocono Mountains, the unique Pine Barren ecosystem, and the beaches of the Atlantic shore.

Temple University is an equal opportunity, equal access, affirmative action employer committed to achieving a diverse community. iEcoLab believes the crisis in biological diversity can only be addressed by scientists from diverse backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints. I strongly encourage applications from students with diverse backgrounds.

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