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Joining the Louca lab
Skilled undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs from a wide range of related disciplines, such as biology, physics or computer science, interested in microbial ecology and evolution, are encouraged to consider joining the Louca lab. An overview of ongoing research topics in the Louca lab and potential graduate student theses are listed here. Students are also encouraged to develop their own research ideas! Experience in programming (any language), bioinformatics (especially genomics and metagenomics), mathematical modeling and/or molecular biology are strong assets but not absolute requirements. The most important skills are creativity, attention to clear deductive reasoning, as well as a strong motivation to learn and to solve problems. Contact details of the lab's principal investigator, Stilianos Louca, are provided here.

Why join the University of Oregon?
The University of Oregon is a research-focused university, offering an exceptionally intellectually stimulating environment for young researchers. The UO Department of Biology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, in particular, house top researchers across a wide spectrum of the biological sciences, with particular strength in microbial ecology and evolution. UO members benefit from access to an array of continuously growing central facilities, including UO's next-generation sequencing facility, UO's high performance computing facility and UO's material characterization and microscopy center. The UO is one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities and holds the distinction of a "very high research activity" ranking in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UO's recently launched interdisciplinary Presidential Initiative in Data Science is pushing UO to the forefront of big-data analysis, which is drastically transforming the biological and physical sciences. Graduate students at UO enjoy a high degree of autonomy, solid fringe benefits and union-secured rights.

Why live in Eugene?
Eugene is an exceptionally safe, family-friendly and bike-friendly town, located in one of the most idyllic regions of the United States, the Pacific North-West, in beautiful Oregon. Whether it's skiing in the winter, hiking or fishing in the summer, or seeking out hidden hot-springs in the woods, Eugene is an ideal starting point for every nature enthusiast. With UO being one of the largest employers in the region, Eugene enjoys a high density of academics. Public transport in Eugene is well developed compared to national standards, and UO is conveniently situated within walking distance of the town centre, the beautiful Willamette River and Alton Baker Park. Despite its idyllic location and peacefulness, Eugene has been largely spared of the ongoing craziness of the housing/rental market in other nearby cities. Consequently, students and postdocs tend to enjoy much higher living standards than in other comparably popular areas such as San Francisco, Seattle, or Boulder-Colorado. This means fewer financial worries, and more energy to focus on your science and precious personal life.

Logistics - for graduate students
Some UO departments, such as the Department of Biology, use a rotation system to help students explore a variety of labs, although some incoming students may already have a clear preference for a specific lab. Potential future students are encouraged to not only contact Stilianos Louca early on to discuss interests and potential thesis topics, but also familiarize themselves with the admission procedures of UO's graduate programs. Application deadlines for graduate programs are at least half a year in advance, for example early December for the Biology program or the Computer Science program. Interested students are also encouraged to look into additional funding opportunities, for example UO-administered fellowships, the UO Genetics Training Program, NSF graduate fellowships, or NASA's graduate fellowships.

Logistics - for postdocs
Interested postdocs with proven ability to perform independent research and publish, should get in touch directly with the PI, Stilianos Louca. Please do include a CV (with list of publications) as well as a brief description of interests in your first email. Available funding varies over time and may be project-specific. Interested postdocs are thus highly encouraged to apply for their own funding, such as through NSF or private foundations. PI Louca is happy to assist with the preparation of fellowship applications.

Logistics - for undergraduates
Some opportunities exist in the Louca lab for undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience or credit (e.g., through the "BI 401 Research" course). Depending on the student's skills and interests, work may include data compilation and curation, computational/mathematical work or assisting in ongoing experiments and field work. Biology Honors students may engage in more complex and independent research in preparation of their thesis. Skilled and motivated undergraduates from a variety of disciplines are welcome all year round, however students wishing to receive funding should take into account application deadlines for OURS (Oregon Undergraduate Researchers in SPUR), SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship), UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) fellowships, and SPUR (Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, non-UO undergrads).

Louca lab. Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
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