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We seek a graduate student for a newly NSF-funded project examining the life history decisions made by male smallmouth bass. The student will begin in Spring 2019 (ideally), will be based at Bowling Green State University (working with Daniel Wiegmann), and will collaborate with faculty at Rice University (Scott Egan and Kelly Weinersmith) and Colorado State (Lisa Angeloni). We offer full funding for a Master’s student, or partial funding for a PhD student (whose funding would subsequently be covered by teaching assistantships).

This project would be a good fit for a student interested in a career in natural resource management, evolutionary biology, and/or advanced quantitative methods.

Please send an email containing your CV to Drs. Daniel Wiegmann at ddwiegm@bgsu.edu and Kelly Weinersmith at Weinersmith@Rice.edu if you’re interested. Thanks!

Here is an abstract for the project:

The realization that many, perhaps most, alternative reproductive tactics, or ARTs, depend on individual condition sparked a general interest in the proximate control of tactic expression and the ultimate control of tactic frequencies within populations. How ARTs coexist within a population is an evolutionary puzzle that is only partially resolved. ARTs are evolutionary solutions to reproductive competition, products of an investment strategy that accounts for individual condition and fit into a broader category of investment strategies, which includes life history decisions. ARTs reflect allocation responses to conditions under which individuals have developed. Project researchers will detail ARTs in a population of smallmouth bass (Micropterous dolomieu) from data collected in a ten-year, multigenerational study that includes detailed information on individual reproductive behavior. The system has special intrigue because a non-genetic parental effect is hypothesized to cause tactic alternation within lineages, across generations, which may facilitate or impede adaptive evolutionary processes. To test the genetic basis of this tactic polymorphism, RADSeq from preserved tissue samples will be used to generate thousands of SNPs across the genome and paternity analysis will be applied to trace tactic choices by males in 240-381 lineages, across 1-5 generations to detail parent and offspring tactic choices. Developmental conditions and growth histories will be determined from field data and scale samples to identify factors that control the expression of tactics. Undergraduates from underrepresented groups in STEM and graduate students will be trained in genetics, genomics, bio-informatics and fisheries techniques. Results will be disseminated through press releases, podcasts, blog posts and an animated video made publicly available and distributed to resource managers and others to display where fishing licenses are sold.

Dan Wiegmann, Lisa Angeloni, and I after a long day checking some of the data collecting during this project.

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