PhD Opportunity

The Muir Lab of Plant Evolutionary Physiology at the University of Hawai’i in Mānoa is currently seeking students interested in pursuing a PhD to join beginning Fall 2019. I am particularly interested in motivated students who want to answer fundamental questions in evolutionary biology and ecophysiology using any combination of experimental, comparative, and quantitative approaches.

Two potential project areas

  • Developing stomata as a system to study evolution within and between species using theoretical and/or empirical approaches. Possible systems: native Hawaiian taxa, wild tomato relatives, and/or global synthesis.
  • Synthesizing data on photosynthetic variation and developing Bayesian statistical tools in Stan to answer evolutionary questions. Prior experience with Stan is not required.

These projects build on my past work, but I am happy to discuss other project ideas that address the intersection of evolution and ecophysiology using plants and their symbionts. I will also consider applicants who wish to use purely theoretical and/or computational approaches.



  • Creative, independent, quantitative scholar who asks interesting questions
  • BS, MS, or equivalent


  • Degree in biology or related field. If you’re switching fields, please explain your motivation for doing so in your cover letter
  • Prior research experience (field, lab, and/or computational)

One or more of the following:

  • Strong interest and knowledge of evolutionary biology
  • Strong interest and knowledge of plant ecophysiology
  • Strong quantitative background (math and/or statistics). Indicate software proficiencies in your CV.

Desirable (but definitely not required)

  • Prior research experience in evolution or ecophysiology
  • One or more peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience applying for grants/fellowships
  • Experience with statistics using R

Prior experience working with plants is not required.

The Department of Botany at UH is one of several departments on campus with ecology and evolutionary research. In particular, we have a really strong and broad group of eco-evo labs with excellent quantitative training. We are located in beautiful Honolulu, adjacent to ocean, mountains, and incredibly unique biology. Our access to diverse and unique field sites is unrivaled.

To apply

The official grad program application deadline is Dec. 15th 2018, but please contact me after this deadline if you’re interested. Regardless, contact me before applying to the department. Please include a 1-2 page cover letter and CV/resume.

More details on applying: