Welcome Fritz!

New MSc student, Fritz Pichardo, started the program in the Fall 2015. Fritz will work on the phylogentics of the palm tribe Euterpeae.

MSc student Fritz Pichardo

MSc student Fritz Pichardo

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First ELAP student visiting the lab

Victor Jimenez, a MSc student from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima Peru, won the ELAP scholarship from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs to conduct research with us for six months. Victor will evaluate the potential ecological effects on the diversification patterns of Astrocaryum sect. Huicungo (Arecaceae). We are collaborating with Dr. Yolanda Wiersma.


Posted in News! | Leave a comment

Congratulations to Boni and Zobayer!

Boni and Zobayer submitted this month three proposals to obtain additional funds for their theses. Keep up the good work!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MSc student position in Plant Systematics at Memorial University of Newfoundland-Canada

I am seeking a motivated master student to start a project on the phylogeny and biogeographic history of the tropical plant tribe Euterpeae (Arecaceae). This palm tribe contains 31 species in 5 genera, and will be used as a case study to provide insight into speciation and historical migration of plants amongst tropical American regions and habitats. The student will reconstruct a molecular phylogeny using nuclear DNA sequences, calibrate it using the fossil record or earlier studies, and infer the distribution of ancestral lineages. The MSc student will work under the mentorship of Dr. Julissa Roncal, and will interact with other graduate and undergraduate students in the team.

Student’s responsibilities:

·    Conduct fieldwork in Colombia (Quindio Botanical Garden)

·    Laboratory work include DNA extraction, DNA sequencing and cloning

·    Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees using different algorithms (e.g. Bayesian, Maximum likelihood)

·    Infer diversification times of extant lineages, and the geographic origin of ancestral lineages using different methods.

 Student’s qualifications:

·    A BSc degree in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany/physiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology)·    Experience in organismic botany, DNA laboratory work, phylogenetics and/or bioinformatics is highly desirable.·    Excellent analytical, organization and communication skills.

·    Written and oral proficiency in English is mandatory for international students. TOEFL test required for admission to the university, but not the GRE tests.

Position Characteristics:

Project start date is May 1, 2015 or September 1, 2015. The MSc program comprises two years with an annual stipend of $17,500. The student is expected to teach on average 10 hr/wk during the fall and winter semesters. The department of Biology at Memorial University has 29 faculty members and over 100 graduate students. Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university offering a multicultural environment. The city of St. John’s offers nice scenery with numerous walking trails close to campus, bars, concerts, and a very friendly, family-oriented community.

How to apply: Interested applicants should send their CV, a one-page statement of research interests and career goals, transcripts, and contact information of 3 references (who have agreed to be contacted) in a single pdf or word file to Dr. Julissa Roncal at Email: jroncal@mun.ca.This is a newly formed lab with more information at: http://www.mun.ca/biology/jroncal/

For instructions on how to apply to Memorial’s graduate program visit: http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/index.php

International students with strong credentials are welcome. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pasantias en Canada para estudiantes Latinoamericanos

Si eres estudiante de pre o post grado y quieres hacer una pasantia en Canada de 4 o 6 meses en mi laboratorio, esta es una excelente oportunidad.


Los interesados por favor contactarme a mi correo electronico jroncal[at]mun.ca


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Funding opportunities for latinamerican students

For more information visit:


Grants provide funding for a variety of research topics in the grasslands.
Eligibility: Latin American researchers affiliated with a university, museum, or conservation
Award: US $2000-5000
Deadline: 1 March

Grants toward travel, food, housing, and consumable equipment expenses associated with field work.
Eligibility: Latin American researchers enrolled in M.Sc. or Ph.D. program in USA or South American
Award: US $1000 (recently increased from $500)
Deadlines: 1 April, August, December

Grants provide basic science equipment to assist research projects or education.
Eligibility: Latin American researchers affiliated with a university, museum, or conservation
Award: US $100-2000
Deadlines: 1 April, August, December

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

two master student positions filled

Thanks to all applicants for your interest!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment