Graduate students and Postdoctoral associates: Honey bee biology, social physiology, collective behavior at auburn university

Review of applications will begin 1 NOVEMBER 2020

Start Date: Spring/Summer 2021 (flexible)

The Smith Bee Lab ( research on the basic biology of honey bee colonies in a natural history context. We are interested in how colonies develop, how they are organized, and how they detect and respond to biotic and abiotic changes.

Here are some examples of broad questions we are addressing in the lab:
– How do behavioral repertoires change over an individual’s life?
– How do individuals gather information about the state of their colony?
– How does colony organization change in the face of environmental variation?

Members of the Smith Bee Lab are encouraged to develop their own research program within the broad framework of social physiology and understanding how honey bee colonies function. Prior experience working with honey bees is not required – we are actively seeking researchers with complementary skills to join our group, as long as they have a strong interest in the underlying biological concepts. Projects looking to develop methods, analytical tools, or make use of our dataset containing lifetime trajectories of over 15000 individuals are of particular interest.

Graduate students: Auburn supports a large community in our Department of Biological Sciences (DBS; Students can apply at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. level. Applicants should have a strong biology and/or analytical background in any field. Experience working with honey bees is not required. Application materials include a CV, personal statement, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation (see: Auburn does not require the GRE.

Prospective graduate students will be interviewed in January 2021, with formal applications due to DBS in February, and a start date of August 2021. Please note that all students must have a faculty sponsor before submitting your official application, so if you are interested in joining the lab, please contact me via email as soon as possible.

Ph.D. students from the United States are strongly encouraged to apply for the NSFGRFP ( I will gladly work with potential graduate students who would like to apply the year before starting graduate school (GRFP due October 19, 2020).

Postdocs: candidates should have a PhD in any of the following: biology, computer science, data science, engineering, physics, statistics, or a related field. Review of applications will begin 1 Nov 2020, and continue until a suitable applicant is found. Flexible start dates, given the current global situation. Funding available for 3 years.

To apply, please send me ( a single PDF containing: cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references. To avoid spam filters, please use this for the subject of your email: [Your name], [position applying for], « application to Smith Bee Lab » (e.g. D. R. Jones, postdoctoral associate, application to Smith Bee Lab).

Auburn University is an R1 research institution, located in a fantastic, affordable college town (, with 4+ state parks and nature reserves within 30 minutes of downtown Auburn. Our nearest airport is Atlanta, a 1hr 15min drive, with shuttle service available. The Department of Biological Sciences is a friendly, vibrant, and collaborative setting for research. Members of the Smith Bee Lab are encouraged to develop collaborations across the university, and within the department’s four core areas:

Auburn University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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