PhD position available!

Try to meet us at The American Society of Parasitologists in Denver. Please do not be shy. Let me know beforehand if you want to chat at the conference. Also, let me know if you won't be there but are interested in the lab.

The Gustafson Lab is seeking a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy assistantship (in Molecular Biosciences or Environmental Sciences) to join the Wildlife Genomics and Parasite Biodiversity laboratory in the Department of Biological Sciences at Arkansas State University. This fully funded PhD project has a focus on the ecological and evolutionary drivers of host–parasite biodiversity, specifically focusing on snails, trematodes, and other parasites. We have a team of students that works across level of biological organization, including population and community ecology field work, experiments in outdoor mesocosms and indoor laboratory tanks, molecular population and evolutionary genetics, and bioinformatics. The selected student will have the freedom and support to develop their PhD project based on their interests, but within the themes of the project.


As a grant-funded doctoral student, the successful applicant will have access to funds for travel and research, a competitive stipend, and tuition waved. The student will be on research-grant funds during 1 semester (fall or spring) per academic year and during each summer semester for the duration of the grant. During the other academic semester (fall or spring), the student will be on EVS or MBS program funds, which includes teaching a single 2- or 3-hour lab as a teaching assistant.


Qualifications: Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S and have a valid driver’s license in the United States. Applicants should have a thesis-track Master of Science in evolution, ecology, wildlife, parasitology, or other relevant discipline. I want to bring on someone different from myself, someone highly motivated, and who loves biology.

Contact: To apply, pleased send the following to Kyle Gustafson ( with the subject line “PhD in Gustafson Lab”: (1) Letter of interest stating: (1a) Your interests in the broad topic of the project (i.e., evolution and ecology of snail-trematode biodiversity), (1b) any relevant awards or accolades that I should be aware of, (1c) how your education and experiences have prepared you for a PhD, (1d) how you envision yourself contributing to our scientific understanding of snail-trematode biodiversity, including any types of projects (field, experimental, modeling, GIS, molecular, cellular, etc) that you would like to design and lead; (2) GRE scores (if you have them, not required); (3) CV; (4) Transcripts; and (5) contact information for 3 references.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, but priority will be given to applications received by July 15, 2024. Selected finalists will then be interviewed by (1) Dr. Kyle Gustafson via Zoom, and then (2) by the graduate and undergraduate students in the lab. It is very important that all my students approve. I would prefer to take a second-tier scholar who gets along with my students rather than a top-tier scholar who disrupts the positive vibes of the lab. We have a good thing going and I don't want one bad apple to spoil the apple cart.

Start date is flexible. Ideally: Fall 2024 (August), or Spring 2025 (January)