Blois Paleoecology Lab

New postdoc opportunity! NSF-funded Postdoc Positions in Paleoecology and Species Distribution Modeling

Marta Jarzyna at Ohio State and I were just awarded a new NSF grant to investigate the spatial and temporal non-stationarity of processes structuring communities. The project will leverage the fossil record of small mammals across the late Quaternary, simulations and species distribution modeling techniques, and trait datasets for small mammals. It’s super exciting! We each have a postdoctoral position available in our labs – the two postdoc will work closely with us and one another on this project. Please see the linked job ads below, and let us know if you have any questions!

Applications are invited for two (2) NSF-funded postdoctoral researcher positions in the field of Quaternary Paleoecology and Species Distribution Modeling. The first position is based at the Jarzyna lab in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University. The second position is based at the Blois Lab in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences at University of California, Merced.

Positions’ descriptions and how to apply can be found under the following links. We will start reviewing applications on Monday, August 15th.

Position 1, Jarzyna Lab.

Position 2, Blois Lab.

Cave excavations!

Exciting news! This summer, we will be excavating two small test deposits from caves in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, primarily working in the park during the month of June. I need to hire an archeological monitor who would be responsible for monitoring the excavations for the presence of archeological materials. The monitor would need to be a qualified archeologist (per 36 CFR Part 61; or working under the oversight of a qualified archeologist. The field work will be tough but fun* – we will be working in caves, which will involve (at times) crawling on belly or hands and knees, tight squeezes, and work in dark and enclosed spaces.

Know anyone who might be interested? If so, please contact Jessica Blois ( to learn more about the work. We are still in the initial stages of figuring out the hiring process, but I have more details about the work itself.

*though if you hate caves or dark spaces, this will be less fun for you!


Wrapping up 2019!

Just before the winter break, a flurry of publications! (ok, two, but that’s better than none!)

After a long journey through the review process, I am so happy that this paper is finally published. It was led by Clarke Knight, who started the project as a Masters student with Ben Blonder and patiently and brilliantly led the paper through many iterations of review.  Clarke is now a PhD student at UC Berkeley.

And UC Merced graduate student Nate Fox spearheaded this paper on lagomorph identification. This paper was the result of despairing over how to identify the rabbits at La Brea for our #labreawebs project, and doing some careful work to come up with a workable protocol for identifying the species there. Great job, Nate!

We’ve had lots of other good news in the lab over the year – new babies, papers submitted, qualifying exams passed, labwork triumphs, etc. Perhaps our New Year’s resolution should be to more consistently post about all the good things happening in the lab and at UC Merced!

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