We seek to recruit a highly motivated doctoral student to pursue dissertation research on the evolutionary history of the island fox, Urocyon littoralis. The island fox is smaller than its progenitor, the mainland gray fox, and includes six subspecies, each restricted to a different island in Southern California's Channel Islands due to their unique migratory history during the Ice Age and thereafter. Extreme population crashes have occurred on several of the islands, leading to federal protection for a subset of the subspecies. The work will take advantage of fossils and historical samples from museum collections, taken before the population crashes, as well as recent samples.
The research will be part of a multidisciplinary project (molecular, morphological and paleontological) involving collaboration between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies and the University of Southern California. This is a funded project and the Ph.D student is expected to have five years of support (including tuition remission) through some combination of RAships, TAships, and/or fellowships.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact either Xiaoming Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Suzanne Edmands (email@example.com) for more information. Applications should be submitted to the Integrative and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (http://dornsife.usc.edu/bisc/