Blois Paleoecology Lab

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Welcome to 2023 in the Blois lab!

Great news to start off the year! The Blois lab had two papers accepted over the winter break. The first was a paper led by former PhD student Nate Fox, working with a great team to examine correspondence between small mammal isotope values and past climate at the La Brea Tar Pits. Then, former PhD student Rob Boria had his final PhD chapter accepted, examining the phylogeography of the Peromycus maniculatus species complex across the western US. Both papers are fully open access, thanks to the UC transformative agreements with Elsevier!

The Blois lab also officially welcomes Val Syverson, a new postdoc on the paleomodeling project we’re working on with Marta Jarzyna. Val officially started in November, but the UC strike disrupted their transition.

Coupled with the official start of the NSF FAIROS research coordination network, focusing on examining FAIR and CARE issues in paleobiological and zooarcheological resources, and a new class to teach as part of my ongoing NSF CAREER grant (Ecology in the Field and Lab), it’s shaping up to be a busy semester!

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!