I am always looking for motivated students to join my lab. Interested applicants should read through some of my recent publications to evaluate fit, and contact me to discuss opportunities.

Opportunities for Fall 2024.  I am recruiting a PhD student to study plant trait distributions in areas of thawing and degrading permafrost across northern Alaska. The PhD student will be part of an exciting collaborative team determining the micro-scale mechanisms driving hot-spot and hot-moment carbon dynamics for improving predictions of macro-scale carbon balance in the Arctic. The position involves field work in northern Alaska, lab work and lab experiments for evaluating changes in leaf and root traits, and empirical modeling. The student will also have the opportunity to work closely with other scientists to investigate how plant-soil-microbe interactions influence ecosystem and biogeochemical responses to abrupt permafrost degradation across time and space, characterize fine-scale heterogeneity in the environmental factors that govern carbon dynamics, and represent that information in models.

Qualified applicants should have a M.S. (or equivalent experience) in ecology, biology, environmental science or a closely related field. Applicants should be able to work independently, but also cooperatively with other researchers. Applicants should have a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, ability to problem solve, demonstrated writing and quantitative capabilities, and a record of leadership. Preference will be given to applicants with experience working in tundra ecosystems. The position will be supported through a combination of research and teaching assistantships (including stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance).

To apply, please contact me directly at jmf@illinois.edu with a CV and cover letter addressing your motivation to conduct a PhD in plant/ecosystem/landscape ecology at the University of Illinois.

Students may choose a degree program through either the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) or the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (PEEC). Official applications are due Dec. 1 to PEEC and Dec. 15 to NRES, with interviews typically occurring in early February.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage a diversity of applicants to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law.