Opportunities to join our group

We are recruitinting undergraduates and a research technician. See below.


Potential postdocs interested in pursuing funding together are encouraged to contact Lauren. One excellent opportunity is the Washington Research Foundation postdoc program.

Graduate Students

  • We primarily accept graduate students that have previous experience working with the group to ensure a mutual fit with the group and research questions before commiting to graduate study. Please get in touch if you are interested in exploring technician opportunities.
  • The group is especially interested in recruiting students with quantitative skills (e.g., mathematics or computer science training, experience with a computing language such as R). We also prioritize students interested in contributing to our grasshopper or butterfly resurvey project aimed at understanding ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change.
  • Please include “POTENTIAL GRAD” in the subject line of any email to Lauren, so that she can better keep track of inquiries.

Most research in the group concerns functional ecology, evolution, and biogeography in changing environments, a broad and complex topic leaving lots of room for creative and interdisciplinary approaches. Students are encouraged to develop independent projects in collaboration with me, but the projects are likely to be most successful when they align with broader lab projects. One focus of the lab is coupling theoretical and quantitative tools with data collection. Combining multiple approaches is central to tackling questions of environmental change and a primary benefit of choosing to conduct graduate research in the Buckley lab. Student projects will generally span two of the following three approaches: theory, ecoinformatic analysis, and field or lab work. Lauren’s goal as a mentor is to ensure students learn how to identify interesting questions, develop feasible approaches, and process and synthesize information to address the question. See the (how_we_work repository)[https://github.com/HuckleyLab/how_we_work] on our lab GitHub account to learn more about our lab workflow and policies.

Students can join the group through the UW Department of Biology or the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) interdisciplinary graduate program. Other relevant programs at UW include the Program on Climate Change (PCC) and the eScience Institute.

Students interested in joining the lab are encouraged to apply for external fellowships (e.g., National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship). All prospective students should contact Lauren by email. If it seems that you may be a good fit for the group, Lauren will request the following materials:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a description of research experience
  • a description of possible graduate research topics and approaches highlighting why the Buckley group would be a good fit for this research
  • a description of career goals

OPEN POSITIONS: Undergraduates and research technicians

There are numerous research and employment opportunities for motivated undergraduate students to both conduct independent projects and to assist in ongoing research conducted by members of our research group. Opportunities include assisting in field research and lab physiology, assembling and analyzing databases, and advancing models. Interested undergraduates should contact Lauren by email and include a brief summary of research interests and experience. We have opportunities for students familar with computational infrastructure (cloud computing and Docker).

Research technician: butterfly evolutionary responses to climate change

The University of Washington (UW) Biology research group led by Professor Lauren Buckley is recruiting a research technician to manage, coordinate, and conduct research activities for a project repeating historical butterfly research to examine ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation Organismal Responses to Climate Change Program. Project collaborators include Adam Steinbrenner from UW, Gwen Shlichta from Edmonds College, and Joel Kingsolver from the University of North Carolina.

The research will include laboratory and field research in Seattle, WA and field research in central (Corfu) Washington. Research activities include lab rearing, maintenance, and thermal physiological assessments of butterfly caterpillars; growing host plants; maintaining and trait assessments of adult butterflies; caterpillar natural selection experiments in an experimental garden; mark-release-recapture experiments of adult butterflies; photographing and analyzing adult wing traits potentially with developing automation approaches; potential to assist with genetic assessments or with model development; participation in data analysis, scientific literature searching and synthesizing, scientific editing and writing, and scientific communication.

The successful applicant will have a bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science or a related field along with experience conducting field and/or laboratory biological research; capacity to conduct research in challenging and demanding field environments; a driver license and comfort driving to field sites; ability to carefully conduct repetitive measurements (e.g., weighing many caterpillars); experience entering, managing, and analyzing biological data; demonstrated leadership and/or mentoring skills; organizational and time management skills; and some experience with a statistical programming language such as R. Desired qualifications include familiarity with biology relevant to understanding organismal responses to climate change; experience rearing and maintaining insects or growing plants in the lab; collecting or researching insects, particularly butterflies, in the field; experience collecting and assembling environmental data; experience with data analysis and data science workflows (e.g., version control); experience with biological modelling; experience communicating science to scientific and general audiences. We do not expect that any one applicant will have all of the desired qualifications for this position.

The temporary position is planned for approximately six months with a start date around April 2024 but there is potential to extend the position for up to a year or beyond depending on the research interests and expertise of the technician. The position will be 30-40 hours a week and the UW salary range for a Research Technician is $3477-4093/month for full time work. The position is well suited for students graduating with a bachelor’s degree so a later start date may be possible to accommodate academic schedules. Applicants should send a cover letter detailing their research interests and experiences along with a resume / CV to Research Technician Taylor Hatcher (thatche1@uw.edu), preferably by March 1 for initial consideration.

Undergraduate research opportunity: insect ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change

The UW Biology research group led by Professor Lauren Buckley has paid or research credit positions open (spring and summer 2024) for UW undergraduate students to contribute to a butterfly resurvey project examining responses to recent climate change. The butterfly resurvey project is testing how selection on butterfly traits has shifted in response to recent climate change. Students will primarily assist with rearing butterfly larvae in environmental chambers and in an experimental garden at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture and with physiological measurements. There may also be opportunities to participate in butterfly field studies in Central Washington or to assist with laboratory studies for a grasshopper resurvey project.

Student Learning Benefit Students will learn about biological responses to climate change, gain familiarity with a variety of approaches in physiological ecology and evolution, and receive exposure to academic research and related career opportunities. Students may progress to conducting independent research and presenting the research at UW venues and beyond.

Minimum Requirements Interest in climate change biology and the ability to conduct sometimes repetitive work reliably, to take initiative in research and problem solving, and to work well with a team is more important than past research experience, but candidates should have some familiarity with ecology, evolution, and/or physiology. The work schedule will be fairly flexible but students should be able to commit at least 5 hours a week. Members of groups underrepresented in science and students who have transferred from Edmonds College (since a project goal is to support Edmonds students transferring to UW) or other two-year colleges are particularly encouraged to apply. Interested students should send a resume and a brief summary of research interests and any research experience to Research Technician Taylor Hatcher (thatche1@uw.edu), preferably by February 26 for initial consideration.