Diversity and inclusion are more than just words for us. These are central in guiding how we come together as a research team, cultivate excellence, and go forth into the world to share our discoveries and our love of our work. If this sounds good to you, then please inquire about joining the lab!
It's 2023 and the lab is growing! This is a great time to join our team.
Current Funded Project: We are excited to focus these next several years on the evolutionary interplay of morphology and behavior, specifically the growth and structure of animal weapons and the consequences for male-male competition. Our work is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Sexual selection has resulted in some of the most astonishing traits in the animal kingdom, such as the tusks, horns, and antlers used by males as they compete with rivals for mating opportunities. These and other sexually selected weapons have evolved to function physically in battle. We are examining weapon composition, structure, and use in a fighting insect, the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). We bring ecology into our work on evolution and behavior, testing the profound effects that natural variation in nutrition can have on both the processes and outcomes of sexual selection. Postdoctoral Associate #1 & 2: we are no longer accepting applications for these positions. Thank you to all who applied! Additional postdoc opportunities: Are you interested in a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship or another outside fellowship? If so, let's talk. I'm especially interested in applicants who would like to work on 1) animal weapon evolution and biomechanics or 2) the influence of ecological factors on the construction of the arthropod cuticle, 3) nutritional ecology, and 4) the evolution of courtship and fighting behaviors across the leaf-footed bugs. Send an email to Dr. Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, soon so we can prepare for the NSF deadline in November 2023. NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships are only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Prospective graduate students
Thanks to all who applied for a Fall 2024 place in my research group! I will be carefully going through applications in October, and I will get back to applicants as soon as I can.
Application deadline October 1st, 2023. I am looking for Ph.D. students with substantial research experience and strong motivation to do great science. You do NOT need previous experience with insects, instead I'm looking for researchers with a solid understanding of evolutionary biology, ecology, biomechanics, and/or animal behavior. The next positions available are specifically to work at the interface of these fields under a grant from the National Science Foundation. We aim to understand the role of nutrition on the construction of a sexually selected weapon and the consequences for fighting behavior. If you would like to be considered for Fall 2024 admission, send an email to Dr. Christine Miller, email@example.com, by October 1st, 2023. In this email, please include a description of your interest in male-male competition, biomechanics, and/or animal behavior, 2) an explanation of how your previous research experience would contribute to scientific discovery in these areas, 3) a brief overview of any publications, presentations, and your academic experiences, 4) a CV, 5) an unofficial transcript, and 5) an argument for why you feel you are ready for a Ph.D. I sort through applications and hold interviews before students apply to the UF Graduate Program (to save students time and money). View my mentor/mentee compact to understand expectations before joining the program. Graduate positions are open to international students and those from the USA. When sending your materials, please let us know how you heard about this position.
Graduate student funding: All accepted graduate students receive UF tuition, a stipend, and health benefits. Funding for graduate students comes from grants to the lab, fellowships and assistantships from the University of Florida, and outside sources such as the NSF GRFP. Have you heard of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program? The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of at least $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution. If you are interested in writing a NSF GRFP proposal, contact me by July 1st (the summer before you plan to apply for graduate school; well over a year before starting)! The NSF GRFP is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Undergraduate research positions & scientific internships
Are you intrigued by scientific research? Are you considering a career in evolutionary biology, ecology, or animal behavior? If so, this is the lab for you. Your research will matter -- it will advance science, helping to direct research in the lab and beyond. UF students: University of Florida academic credit is available for the first semester, and then many students apply for a stipend, scholarship, or fellowship to continue their research (see more information on the UF Center for Undergraduate Research Website). We have high standards for our interns and our undergraduate researchers, and the sky is the limit in terms of success! This lab is a great place to start your scientific research career! To apply, email Dr. Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume (CV), cover letter, and an unofficial transcript.
Paid internships: We will have funding for one or two NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate Students (NSF-REU) in Summer 2024. These are fully paid internships to work on research funded by the National Science Foundation. NSF REU funding is restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. To be eligible you must be a current undergraduate student at the time of the internship with previous research experience in ecology, entomology, evolution, and/or behavior. If you are interested in applying, please send your CV, cover letter, the contact information for two references, and an unofficial transcript to Dr. Miller, email@example.com. Your subject line should read "REU Application" so it is sorted appropriately. Applications are due February 1, 2024.
Learn about Ummat's Ph.D. experience!
Photo and content credit: The Miller Lab at the University of Florida/IFAS Gainesville, FL USA 32611