A major challenge in biology is to understand the causes and consequences of variation among individuals in their behavior, morphology, and physiology (i.e. their phenotype). It is becoming clear that past and current environmental influences (e.g. predation risk, density of conspecifics) can cause even genetically identical individuals to appear and behave in markedly different ways. I am an integrative biologist who uses fish as a model system to understand how plasticity, both within and across generations, drives phenotypic change in response to variation in the social and ecological environment. To answer these questions, I work at the intersection of behavior, evolution, and ecology using field and laboratory experiments, molecular tools, and physiological manipulations. 

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We are committed to creating a welcoming lab environment that promotes equality and inclusion for everyone regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other forms of both visible and less visible diversity. Support for marginalized communities cannot be separated from the practice of science. We must actively work to recognize the obstacles that scientists (and potential scientists) from marginalized communities face, and dismantle structures of power that prevent them from succeeding. We must also consider the effects of our research and research choices on marginalized communities.



I am recruiting a highly-motivated masters or PhD student to work in my lab in the Department of Biology at University of Dayton (http://biology.udayton.edu). The prospective student should be excited to work with fishes and possess enthusiasm for laboratory and/or field work, strong communication skills, and attention to detail. Prior research experience in ecology, evolution, behavior, or ichthyology is preferred, but not required. The student will be expected to develop an independent research program that expands or compliments current research in the lab. Broadly, research should center around the role of developmental and transgenerational plasticity in helping organisms cope with predation risk and human-induced environmental change. 


I welcome applicants from under-represented groups in STEM (including first-generation students) to apply. Start date is January 2023, but can be flexible. The position is fully-funded through teaching assistantships, with stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance, and money for annual conference travel. 

UD is the one of the largest private universities in Ohio, and is award winning for both academic programs and scholarship. Enrollment is ~8500 undergraduates, with ~2500 graduate students. To begin the application process, please send a CV, a brief statement of research interests, an unofficial transcript, and contact information for three references to Dr. Jennifer Hellmann (jhellmann1@udayton.edu). Informal review of candidates will begin immediately.