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Bee PhD Opportunity.... University of Illinois at Chicago

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  • Sam Droege
    All: This is posted for Kevin Matteson .... reply directly to him or Emily Minor.....sam ===================================================== PhD
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2011
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      All:  This is posted for Kevin Matteson  .... reply directly to him or Emily Minor.....sam
      =====================================================

      PhD Opportunity: Pollinator ecology, Pollination Services, and Urban Agriculture
      University of Illinois at Chicago

      Advisors: Emily Minor, primary (
      http://www.uic.edu/labs/minor/) and
      Kevin Matteson

      We are looking for a motivated PhD student to help investigate
      pollinator ecology, pollination services, and social-ecological
      variables that might affect urban agriculture as part of NSF funded
      research (see details in abstract below) at the University of Illinois
      at Chicago. For the first two years, the student will be supported
      partially on a research assistantship and partially on a teaching
      assistantship. The successful candidate will have the ability to
      influence the future direction of this research and help develop
      proposals for additional funding. Applicants should be available to
      start in June of 2012 and have the following qualifications:
      -                 A B.S. degree completed by spring 2012. A master's degree is
      preferred but not necessary. Previous course work in ecology and some
      undergraduate (or graduate) research experience is mandatory.
      -                 A strong interest in urban ecology, urban agriculture, and urban
      sustainability
      -                 Comfort working in heavily populated neighborhoods and interacting
      with neighborhood residents of diverse backgrounds
      -                 A valid U.S. driver’s license
      -                 Previous experience is preferred, but not required, in the following areas
      -                 working with bees and other insects
      -                 work with pollination biology
      -                 plant identification
      -                 digital photography (ideally of insects or plants)
      -                 use of GIS and statistical analysis
      -                 greenhouse work
      -                 driving around a large city

      Interested students should apply to the UIC Department of Biological
      Sciences, Ecology and Evolution group
      (
      http://www.uic.edu/depts/bios/grad/grad_ee.shtml) for fall 2012
      admission. Prior to submitting an application, please email a letter
      of intent and your CV to Emily Minor at eminor@.... In your
      letter, please highlight how you meet the qualifications listed above.

      PROJECT ABSTRACT:
      Urban agriculture is increasing in the United States, with vegetables
      and fruits often grown in private and community gardens as well as
      larger tracts of vacant land. These small-scale agricultural efforts
      may contribute to urban sustainability and can provide food security
      for those living in low-income inner city neighborhoods with limited
      access to fresh produce. Despite the potential social, nutritional,
      and ecological benefits of urban agriculture, little is known about
      the pollination services that support such efforts. Many crops grown
      in urban gardens benefit from or are dependent on pollination by
      insects, especially bees. However, while studies have found some bees
      to be prevalent in florally-diverse urban habitats, bee diversity or
      abundance also has been shown to decrease with increasing
      urbanization. Therefore, pollinator communities may vary across the
      urban landscape due to local management of floral resources (e.g.,
      flower plantings along city blocks) as well as development intensity
      at larger spatial scales; these factors may then influence pollination
      services across the urban landscape. To determine how pollination
      services are distributed across the urban landscape, this research
      will (a) evaluate changes in pollinators and their response to floral
      resources across a gradient of urban development, and (b) determine
      how these biotic changes affect the consistency and magnitude of
      pollination services. The research will take place in Chicago, IL, the
      third largest city in the United States. In addition to sampling
      pollinator communities, this study will use an experimental “mobile
      garden” on the back of a pick-up truck to directly quantify
      pollination services across the city.
                      An assessment of pollination services in cities will increase
      understanding of the potential sustainability of urban ecosystems.
      This knowledge can be applied to increasing yield in urban
      agriculture, potentially contributing to food security in densely
      populated neighborhoods. This project will train undergraduate and
      graduate students through participation in research and educate
      Chicago residents about the importance of pollinators. Finally, the
      research will inform urban planners about the ecological attributes—at
      both neighborhood-block and landscape scales—that affect the ecosystem
      service of pollination.




      --
      Kevin C. Matteson, Ph.D.
      Assistant Visiting Research Professor
      University of Illinois at Chicago
      (646) 373-0250

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