PhD Fellowship in Paleontology/Macroevolution at the University of Pennsylvania

A PhD fellowship in Paleobiology is available in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, starting in Fall 2017. Prof. Lauren Sallan seeks a graduate student to address major questions about the evolution of life. These include: how global change has affected life over time, how life evolves at high levels (macroevolution), the relationships of living and dead animals (phylogeny), and the origins of living biodiversity. While research in the lab has focused on fishes, any suitable group of fossils may be used. 

Potential thesis topics include, but are not limited to: the long-term effects of mass extinctions (e.g. the end-Devonian and end-Ordovician), the roles of predation and competition in marine ecosystem evolution, characteristics of adaptive radiations and “living fossils,” the effects of long-term climate and environmental changes (e.g. the Late Paleozoic Ice Age) on biodiversity, and major transitions in early vertebrate evolution (e.g. origin of jaws, invasion of land). The student can also develop a novel project that addresses similar questions using quantitative, phylogenetic and/or descriptive methods. 

This is fully-funded fellowship with stipend and tuition support guaranteed for the length of the PhD. Applicants are encouraged to contact Prof. Sallan ( for more details. Additional information on the fellowship is available on the departmental website: Applications for entry in Fall 2017 are due January 15, 2017, with interviews in February. Applications to graduate school at Penn must be submitted online at