The University of Arkansas: Graduate Student Positions in Integrative Animal Behavior

Posted on December 8, 2022
Expires: January 15, 2023

The Westerman Lab at the University of Arkansas (the flagship campus in Fayetteville, AR) is seeking PhD students to begin in the Fall of 2023. We study the evolution, ecology, and genetic mechanisms underlying behavioral diversity and plasticity, with a focus on sensory system development and visual learning in butterflies. Our current research topics include the role of genetics and environment in mate preference and foraging preference development, behavioral and developmental plasticity, the role of perception and sensory environment in ornament evolution, and sensory biases. We are an integrative animal behavior group, and integrate a wide range of techniques, including, but not limited to, controlled laboratory experiments, CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing, transcriptomics, histology, and field ecology. Our research incorporates both tropical butterflies and those native to Northwestern Arkansas, and takes advantage of an on-campus butterfly facility as well as multiple species-rich field sites within a 30-minute drive. Graduate students will be expected to develop their own research projects within the scope of the lab and on-going funded research. For more information, please visit the lab website:

As a technically integrative lab, we embrace creative approaches to studying animal behavior, and welcome students from a wide range of technical backgrounds. We also celebrate all axes of diversity, and welcome candidates from groups historically underrepresented in STEM.

Interested prospective students should contact Dr. Erica Westerman at Please include a brief description of your research interests and how they fit within the scope of the lab, your CV, your GRE scores (if you have them), and contact information for 3 references.

Deadline for applications for the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas is January 15, 2023:

However, interested prospective students should contact Dr. Erica Westerman before December 30th 2022, or as soon as possible.

The Department of Biological Sciences fully funds students through teaching assistantships and research assistantships. However, there are additional sources of funding available through the university (i.e., $12,000-$20,000/yr as supplement to TA stipend) that depend on the qualifications of the applicant. Information about these funding sources can be found here:

For more information please contact:

Dr. Erica Westerman
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas

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