Li Lab

Quantitative Ecology in a Changing World

Join us!


Postdoc, Graduate, and Technician positions in Quantitative Ecology available in the lab at Biology and Center of Computation and Technology at LSU

I am seeking curious and motivated postdocs, graduate students, and a technician to join the group. Our lab will study how global anthropogenic environmental changes have and will affect ecological communities, including species composition, biodiversity, plant phenology, etc. Our work combines experimental, observatory, statistical, and computational approaches to develop a mechanistic and predictive understanding of ecology. As a mentor, I am committed to building a diverse and inclusive research lab to make quantitative ecology more accessible and to fulfill group members’ professional goals (whatever it is).

Spencer Hall’s compilation of postdoc and graduate student advice.

Postdoctoral position: I am looking for a postdoc whose interests align with the themes of the lab. There is no specific project tightened to this position. Therefore, the postdoc hired will have lots of freedom to develop projects that exciting both of us. Desired skills include statistics, theoretical ecology, programming skills (R, Julia, Python, etc.), and good communication skills (verbal and writing). The postdoc will be expected to work both independently and collaboratively. The position will also have opportunity to develop collaborative grant proposals. It is possible to working remotely, especially given the current pandemic situation. Prospective postdocs should send me a 1-2 page cover letter with past and future research interests, a CV, and contact information for 3 references. Applications from individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged.

I always welcome prospective postdocs to discuss about ideas to pursue funding together (postdoc fellowships or grants). Feel free to contact me anytime (dli30 at lsu.edu). I encourage all postdocs in the lab to apply for external funding whether or not they receive support from me.

Graduate students: We have multiple funded openings for graduate students through the Biology Department and CCT at LSU. Prospective graduate students are expected to be highly motivated and self-driving, with research experiences and interests that are largely overlap with the broad theme of the lab. Please see the Publications and Research to determine if your interests match well with those of the lab. Both empiricists and theorists are welcome to join the lab given the integrative nature of my research. Since CCT is an interdisciplinary program, students from other departments (e.g. Statistics, Computer Science, Geoscience) are welcome to join the lab! Applications from individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged.

Selecting a lab and adviser that suits your interests and needs is critical for your success. Prospective students thus should contact me via email to discuss about possibilities. In the email, please include a 1-2 pages cover letter with past and future research interests, what questions you want to pursue as a graduate student, whether you are interested in pursing a Master’s or Ph.D degree, and why do you want to work in the lab. As an adviser, I will provide support to students whenever possible. I also expect students to apply for outside funding. I strongly encourage entering graduate students to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Here is the FAQ for 2021 FYI).

Technician: I am looking for one technician to help with the set up with the lab. Given that my lab will integrate both empirical studies and computational approaches, a good fit candidate should have some experience in field ecological studies (e.g. conducting ecological survey of plant communities, set up control experiments, etc.) and experience or desire to learn more about setting up computers and servers. Applications from individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged. Prospective applicants should send me a 1-2 page cover letter with past research experience, a CV, and contact information for 3 references.

Undergraduate students: Undergraduate students who are interested in ecology (both empirical and quantitative) and computational approaches with research interests match with the lab should contact me to discuss about opportunities. While paid positions are sometimes available, volunteer or independent research experiences are important for determining research interests and applying for graduate school in the future. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply for outside funding such as University undergraduate student research programs and STEM undergraduate Federal opportunities.