Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Funded MS Positions - Salamander Nose Evolution

Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA
Closing Date
Review of applications will begin on February 8, 2021, and continue until the positions are filled.

The Department of Biology at Humboldt State University (HSU) anticipates having two funded, 2.5 year M.S. positions starting Fall (August) 2021 to study the evolution of the peripheral olfactory system in plethodontid salamanders at the morphological and molecular level, with the underlying question being how they adapt to smell in both water and air. (Plethodontid salamanders have a variety of life history modes, ranging from larvae with metamorphosis, to direct development, to neoteny, making them ideal to examine the adaptation of the olfactory system to water vs. air as olfactory media.) This integrative project will involve field-collecting of animals and laboratory analysis of the olfactory system using techniques such as histology, electron microscopy, microCT analysis, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.

We expect to begin review of interested students the week of 8 February 2021. Selected students will be asked to formally apply to the HSU graduate program by the end of February.


Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the Biology graduate program, with the exception that we understand that the application materials will be received after the listed departmental application deadline.

To Apply

Potential applicants should contact either Dr. John Reiss (john.reiss [at] humboldt.edu) or Dr. Karen Kiemnec-Tyburczy (karen.kiemnec [at] humboldt.edu) with an email that briefly describes their background, qualifications and interest in this project. Only students invited to apply by the PIs should submit a graduate program application with expectation of funding from this project.

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