Dr. Kai Zhu is recruiting 1-2 PhD student(s) starting in Fall 2021 in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The Zhu Lab works on research questions at the intersection of climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes, using quantitative approaches such as remote sensing, species distribution models, and Bayesian statistical methods. Current research projects include (1) phenological responses to climate change and human activity in the Northern Hemisphere; (2) the biogeography of soil fungi in North America; and (3) wildfire propagation and forest regrowth in California. The Zhu Lab also collaborates with other research groups, such as the Peay Lab at Stanford University (https://mykophile.com) through a collaborative NSF grant (https://news.ucsc.edu/2019/09/zhu-nsf.html). More information is available at https://zhulab.ucsc.edu/.
Students are encouraged to develop their own projects, which is an essential part of their advancement as independent and creative researchers. Dr. Zhu expects students to have previous research experience and a strong background in ecology and environmental science, as well as math, statistics, and programming. However, in the Zhu Lab students will learn new methods and tools by attending classes, workshops, and working on projects, so the most important quality is the willingness to learn.
Interested students should contact Dr. Kai Zhu (kai dot zhu at ucsc dot edu) as early as possible and no later than the application deadline in December 2020 with the following information: (1) research experience, ideas, and questions; (2) motivations to pursue a PhD and long-term career goals; (3) why interested in the Environmental Studies Department at UCSC; and (4) current CV, academic transcript, and TOEFL score (if applicable).