In tropical rainforests the vast majority of plant species rely on animals to disperse their seeds and pollen. Our lab seeks to provide new answers to the long-standing questions of how and why different animals vary in the dispersal services they provide, and what the...Read More
Over a century ago, Charles Darwin provided a robust explanation for behavioral and morphological differences between the sexes, the theory of sexual selection. But how can we explain variation, and even discrete morphs, within a single sex of a single species? A major focus...Read More
The Gulf of Mexico remains a region in peril as the long-term effects of erosion, rising sea levels, anthropogenic disturbance such as oil spills and natural disasters like hurricanes combine to gradually deteriorate the ecosystem over time. While recent management efforts have...Read More
The tropics are home to more species of animal and plant than anywhere else on the planet, and many of these species are poorly known and/or threatened with extinction. Because we work primarily in the tropics, a core value of this lab is that our scientific research should...Read More
Welcome! Our lab works at the interface of ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation biology. We focus on how the ecological and social environments that animals experience shape their behavior and ecology, and vice-versa. Active research in South America, Australasia, and the Gulf of Mexico includes plant-animal interactions, mating systems and signal evolution, movement ecology, and endangered species. Our lab takes a socially engaged approach that combines research with capacity building, training, and education in the biodiversity hotspots where we work.
The Karubian Lab is seeking applications from prospective PhD students interested in tropical rainforest evolutionary ecology and conservation, with a focus on palm trees in Ecuador.
Students will be encouraged to develop independent research that combines fieldwork on ecological processes (e.g., dispersal, competition, survival) with laboratory-based genetic approach (e.g., population genetics / genomics, transcriptomics) to better understand the forces that regulate patterns of diversity within and among species. In doing so, students will build upon previous and ongoing NSF-funded work in the Karubian lab that links behavior of dispersal agents to seed and pollen movement; characterizes ecological and genetic drivers of non-random seedling survival; and documents how naturally occurring environmental variation interacts with human activities to shape patterns of diversity. Please see our publications and our research page for more information.
The Karubian lab has a strong commitment to linking our research to real world conservation outcomes via meaningful engagement with local communities in the areas where we work. Incoming students are encouraged to participate in and contribute to this effort. Ability to speak Spanish or willingness to learn is also a plus. Please see our engagement page for more information.
The Karubian lab is based at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, in New Orleans LA. We have an outstanding and supportive group of students and faculty. Ph.D. students in good standing receive TA-ships that cover stipend and tuition costs during their time at Tulane. Competitive fellowships and in-house research support are also available.
The deadline for applying is January 15, 2017. Please see thttp://www2.tulane.edu/sse/eebio/academics/graduate/apply.cfm for more information. Prior to applying, interested students should contact Dr. Jordan Karubian (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a statement of interest and CV. Students from Latin America and from under-represented groups in ecology and evolution are particularly encouraged to apply.Read More
Another summer has come and gone – lab members have travelled far and wide for field work and conferences, and have now returned to New Orleans for the fall semester.
We are excited to welcome our two new Ph.D students, John Jones and Sarah Khalil!
John joined the lab with funding from a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellowship. He got an early start on research with a preliminary field experience with fairy wrens in Australia and Papua New Guinea this past summer. Now he is adjusting to the heat of New Orleans while preparing to conduct more field work in Papua New Guinea during the start of the spring semester.
Sarah is funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She returned at the start of the summer from a field season in Kenya, finishing her research at Columbia University studying superb starlings. She later joined the IRES crew for a preliminary field season in Australia, and now is excited to be in New Orleans where she gets to escape the cold winters of New York.
Sam returned from the field in Australia, finishing her last field season while leading the NSF IRES crew. While down under, she was awarded best student oral presentation at the Queensland Ornithological Conference for her presentation on non-breeding season space use in male fairywrens.
Brock completed another field season in the northern Gulf, tracking a cohort of breeding brown pelicans while continuing long-term demographic surveys on Raccoon Island.
Erik returned from Papua New Guinea and spent the remainder of the summer digging into analyzing his data from the field season.
After finishing up their respective field seasons, the bird side of the lab all met up at the end of the summer in Washington D.C. for the North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC 2016). The lab was well represented at the conference – Sam presented work on how the environment influences sociality in fairywrens, Brock presented some of his preliminary findings, Erik presented his work on the White-shouldered fairy wrens, and John presented on his previous master’s work.
Luke and Jordan’s study “Negative frequency-dependent selection for rare genotypes promotes genetic diversity of a tropical palm” was accepted for publication in Ecology Letters (link to PDF)! Another paper on the “Diversity of palm communities at different spatial scales in a recently fragmented tropical landscape” (Browne and Karubian 2016) was published in the Palms – emblems of tropical forests special issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. Luke finished up his last field season of his dissertation this summer with Tulane undergrad Mike Mahoney, hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and presented at the Ecuadorian Ornithology Congress with colleagues from Ecuador.
In New Orleans, Zoë completed a pilot project examining neutral genetic differentiation of 8 populations across Ecuador on both sides of the Andes. She is now preparing her prospectus and plans to be in the field during the spring semester to do extensive sampling of Oenocarpus bataua along both sides of the Andes.
Jordan had an active summer, with international travel to Australia where he helped to provide training to our current group of NSF-funded IRES students and to Ecuador, where he gave a presentation at the V Ecuadorian Ornithology Congress in Zamora. He also spent time working with Renata Ribeiro and Stephanie McClelland studying mockingbirds right here in New Orleans. He published a paper (Karubian et al. 2016) with Luke Browne, Malinda Chambers (a former Tulane undergrad and 4+1 MS student), and local Ecuadorian residents in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.Read More