The Papa lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico has 2 graduate positions available (PhD or Master) for admission in January or July 2021. Please submit your applications by the end of October. We are looking for highly motivated and passionate students interested in evolutionary and developmental questions applied to butterfly systems. We are specifically focused on epigenomics, single cell gene expression and functional genomics. Our lab studies the genetic and molecular changes that underlie variation in traits (morphological and behavioral) that are relevant in adaptation and speciation. We use butterflies and the most cutting-edge approaches in genomics and functional genetics to address fundamental questions in evolutionary and developmental biology. Our major goal is to understand and explain the connection between genome and phenome by determining variation at the level of genome structure, gene regulation, and cell to cell communication and development. The lab is currently funded by grants from NIH and NSF and the Puerto Rico Science Trust.
A diverse array of projects is available that can be tailored to the student’s interests. Molecular bench work as well as a bioinformatics skillset and/or interests are recommended. We are particularly looking for students that are interested in understanding the mechanisms of gene regulation (epigenetic mechanisms and single cell to cell communication), genome to phenome connection, chemical communication in butterflies. The different projects combine genomics (epigenomics, population genomics, single cell genomics, functional genetics (CRISPR/Cas9), gene expression, chemical ecology, electrophysiology, neurobiology, and computational biology. Our lab is at the forefront of molecular biology and always using cutting edge methods and approaches. We are currently collecting single cell genomic data.