NESCent Post-doctoral Fellows Going to New Positions


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NESCent’s unusual post-doctoral experience provides many opportunities for future success. Three post-doctoral fellows have recently accepted faculty positions, and another post-doc will be moving to Duke for a second post-doctoral postion. Their time at NESCent has influenced their research programs and provided unique opportunities for them.

Jason Hoeksema will be leaving NESCent at the end of July to start his new position in the Biology Department at the University of Mississipi. Jason has been investigating the relative importance of biotic vs. abiotic local adaptation at NESCent. He states, “My time here at NESCent has allowed me to expand my research program to fully include a quantitative "synthetic" component, which is not explicitly supported in many other post-doc environments. My time here has also allowed me to continue to grow professionally without the extra responsibilities (teaching, committee meetings, advising) of being an assistant professor, which will allow me to hit the ground running once I do begin a faculty position.”

Samantha Hopkins has a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Honors College at the University of Oregon where she will be teaching Honors students, doing research in the Geology department, and working on rebuilding the vertebrate paleontology program at the university. Samantha's research focuses on the evolution of mammalian fossoriality. She says, “My time at NESCent really helped me get my independent research program going, getting me used to doing research with no one looking over my shoulder. It also helped me get past the non-collaborative mindset that graduate school tends to foster. I think NESCent also contributed to my getting the job; the department at U of O was really intreested in the sound of the center and the kind of research it supports.”

Amy Zanne has accepted a Plant Ecology position in the Biology Department at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Amy will be continuing her research in the evolutionary tradeoffs between traits in plants, such as xylem efficiency vs safety at NESCent until her position starts in August, 2008. She feels that, “My time at NESCent has supported my research efforts and allowed me to interact with people in evolutionary biology with whom I might not have otherwise. It also has given me critical tools for other aspects of an academics life, e.g., applying for faculty positions.”

Josh Granek has been performing comparative genomic studies of regulatory sequences. Josh will be joining Paul Magwene's lab at Duke, which is investigating how natural sequence variation in gene networks result in phenotypic variation in populations using a yeast model. Josh will be developing a quantitative computer model with data from previous research, as well as exploring mechanisms of complex colony morphology in yeast. Additionally, Josh will be involved in the development of labs for a new course.

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