Opening for Ph.D. Student in Ecological-Evolutionary Modelling of Soil Food Webs

The Wise Lab has an opening in Fall 2017 for a doctoral student to conduct research on ecological-evolutionary processes in soil food webs in collaboration with Dr. Jordi Moya-Laraño of the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Almería, Spain. The Ph.D. research project will utilize the Individual-Based Modelling (IBM) platform Weaver created by Dr. Moya-Laraño and his collaborators at the Universidad de Almería. 

Qualifications -- Quantitative skills and basic knowledge of ecology and evolution. Training in quantitative ecology and ecological/evolutionary modeling, statistics, and experience with the computing language R expected. Facility with C++ is desirable but not required.  M.S. degree in ecology, computer science or statistics desired, but outstanding applicants without a Master’s degree with the required background will be considered.

Application process -- Interested students should email Prof. Wise ( a detailed cover letter describing qualifications and interest in the research project, CV, unofficial academic transcripts, and contact information for three references. Applicants with the necessary background will then be asked to apply to the Ecology and Evolution doctoral program in the Department of Biological Sciences at UIC. The application deadline is 1 December, but later applications will be given full consideration. However, application folders need to be complete by 15 January to be considered for financial aid.

For the complete position announcement and project background click here.

Our research interests are diverse and continually evolving.They include the disciplines of community ecology, food-web structure and dynamics, ecosystem processes, and land-management policy. Our current field work is conducted on lands of the Chicago Wilderness Alliance and in forests of southern Indiana.

Currently we are pursuing the following projects:

  • Modelling of ecological-evolutionary processes in soil food webs
  • Effects of anthrophonies (human-caused noise) on the mating calls of frogs
  • Impact of changes in the microbial resource base on the structure of the below-ground arthropod community
  • Response of the below-ground arthropod community to changes in detrital input
  • Impact of invasive garlic mustard on bottom-up control processes in the fungal based below-ground food web
  • Arthropod abundance and diversity in woodland leaf litter across a range of sites that differ in management and restoration history
  • Behavior of different distance functions with unconstrained and constrained ordinations
  • Developing models to aid in selecting restoration options across metropolitan landscapes

Some former projects:

  • Causes and below-ground consequences of invasion of Chicago-area woodlands by an exotic shrub, European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different techniques of invasive-species removal and control
  • Relationship between variation in the structure and decision-making processes of land-management organizations and biodiversity outcome -- as part of an interdisciplinary research project with other ecologists, conservation biologists, research social scientists and urban planners of the Chicago Wilderness Science Team
  • Untangling the structure of spider-dominated food webs utilizing real-time PCR to reveal patterns of predator-prey interactions and test food-web theory


  • Undergrad volunteer opportunities!
    While some grad students in our lab have filled their volunteer openings, some still have not, or are looking for someone later this fall semester. Please check out these openings on our grad students' webpages!
    Posted Oct 26, 2016, 11:27 AM by David Wise
  • Volunteer Opportunities Studying Frogs!
    Interested in the ecology of amphibians? Check out this opportunity to volunteer with grad student Nolan Bielinski:
    Posted Apr 12, 2016, 12:27 PM by David Wise
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 7. View more »
Wise Lab Fall 2016

L to R:: Monica Farfan*, Amanda Henderson*, J. Cristian Martinez*, David Wise, Nolan Bielinski*, Jennifer Pajda-De La OCrystal GuzmanMatt McCary*, Brook Herman*(missing).  * = doctoral student mentored by Prof. Wise 

For additional information, contact any of our group on the "People" pages.
For Undergraduate Research opportunities in our lab check here.

Ecology & Evolution Group
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor St. (MC 066), Rm. 1454
Chicago, IL 60607
t: 312-355-3231

Wise Lab @UIC