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PhD Assistantship: Human Energetics, Evolutionary Biology and Health


The Human Evolutionary Biology and Health Lab at Baylor University – directed by Prof. Samuel Urlacher in the Department of Anthropology (https://www.baylor.edu/anthropology/index.php?id=964325) – is seeking applicants for a fully-funded PhD graduate assistantship starting Fall 2020. Applicants will apply to the PhD program in Biology (https://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=961605) or, potentially, in the Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (TIEEES, https://www.baylor.edu/tieees/index.php?id=869832).

Applicants should be interested in engaging in energetics research in our BSL2+ lab (equipped for doubly labeled water analysis, respirometry, ELISA, etc.) as well as in the field. Current field projects are based in Amazonian Ecuador and Papua New Guinea. Applicants wishing to focus on topics relating to childhood evolutionary energetics/medicine, the energetics of obesity and epidemiological transition, the developmental origins of health and disease, and the biocultural pathways of stress and inflammation in the developing world are especially encouraged to apply. 

Native Spanish or Tok Pisin speakers and those from traditionally underrepresented groups are also highly encouraged to apply. For more information on research being performed in the lab visit https://scholar.harvard.edu/samuel_s_urlacher/research.


The graduate assistantship provides the PhD student with five years of guaranteed financial support. Annual stipends start at $24,000 but can reach up to $32,000 for top applicants. Support also includes full tuition remission, health insurance benefits, and funding opportunities for travel and conferences. In addition to Biology and TIEEES, the successful applicant will join the vibrant and growing community of the Department of Anthropology at Baylor (https://www.baylor.edu/anthropology/).

Interested candidates should contact Prof. Urlacher (samuel_urlacher@baylor.edu) no later than November 15th 2019, providing a basic description of their academic/research background and interest in the position. Final applications are due to the Graduate School by January 1st 2020.



PhD Position: Influence of female-specific hormonal factors on body composition and body weight trajectory

Supervisor: Dr Jennifer L Miles-Chan, (School of Biological Sciences) & Dr Kathryn Bradbury (School of Population Health), University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Collaborator: Professor Berit Heitmann, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Project Description: The influence of female–specific hormonal factors on body weight and body composition is largely unknown, owing mainly to a lack of robust longitudinal data. In particular, it remains to be determined if these factors modify risk for future weight gain and obesity. This project aims to decipher the effects of variables such as pregnancy, hormonal contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy on body composition and body weight trajectory using large, existing, international datasets.

This project would suit someone with a background in epidemiology, medical statistics and/or public health and a flair for biostatistics and data. However, enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates from other backgrounds with an interest in epidemiology, nutrition and metabolism are also welcome to apply. 

Funding: Applications are encouraged from students with potential for obtaining a funded fellowship (typically a grade point average >8.0 (an “A” equivalent or above). Applicants must have a first class Honours degree or second class division one (bachelor or masters level); or comparable qualifications. Both international and domestic students are eligible.

About the University of Auckland: The University of Auckland is ranked within the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings, making it New Zealand’s highest ranked university. It is also recipient of a five star plus QS Stars University Rating for excellence in the categories: Research, Employability, Teaching, Facilities, Internationalisation, Innovation and Inclusiveness. The University is located in the harbour city of Auckland, with easy access to stunning beaches and forests, and has a diverse student community, combined with an inclusive and tolerant culture.

How to apply: Applications should be emailed to Dr Jennifer L Miles-Chan (j.miles-chan@auckland.ac.nz) and include your CV, academic transcript, names and contact details of two referees and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the project and outlining any relevant experience.

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