Promoting diversity and excellence: EEB welcomes U-M Presidential Postdoc and LSA Collegiate Postdoc
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is delighted to announce the arrival of André Green, University of Michigan Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and Luis Zaman, College of Literature, Science and the Arts Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow. Both programs are designed to help promote a more diverse academic environment at the U-M by encouraging and supporting promising scholars with a commitment to diversity.
Green is broadly interested in how functional complexity emerges across different scales of biological organization, from molecules and cells to organisms and populations.
“My thesis and present work is focused on understanding the development of phenotypically plastic traits at the molecular scale in order to illuminate general mechanisms that promote or constrain the generation of biodiversity. I am currently working to establish the monarch butterfly as a model to study the molecular genetic ‘design’ of migration and understand how this design influences evolution of the migration strategy,” he explained. Green’s mentor is Professor Patricia Wittkopp. Previously, Green was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution from 2015 - 2017. He earned his doctorate degree in biology from Harvard University.
Zaman’s research spans several disciplines all while trying to answer fundamental questions about how evolution works.
“While I often approach questions from an experimentalist’s perspective, work in our lab relies on a mixture of computational, mathematical and microbial systems. I am predominantly drawn to understanding host-parasite coevolution because the constant push-and-pull of antagonistic interactions emphasizes the dynamic and interdependent nature of biological evolution. These antagonistic interactions have been implicated in some fascinating large-scale evolutionary patterns, such as diversification, sexual reproduction, and increasing organismal complexity. How coevolution is further influenced by such large-scale patterns presents even more fascinating problems that orient the lab’s long-term goals.”
Zaman earned his doctoral degree in computer science and ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior from Michigan State University. Previously, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. He is also affiliated with the U-M Center for Complex Systems.
In 2011, the University of Michigan joined a collaborative partnership with the University of California to offer postdoc opportunities to candidates whose research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. The U-M President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is administered by the Provost’s office, in collaboration with the ADVANCE Program.
The program is particularly interested in scholars with the potential to bring to their research and undergraduate teaching the critical perspective that comes from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education. As part of this program, U-M now offers postdoctoral research fellowships in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), economics, and political science, coupled with faculty mentoring, professional development and academic networking opportunities.
In six years, the UMPPFP brought 17 underrepresented minority and female scientists to campus as Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows, in astronomy, chemistry (and physics), chemical engineering, ecology and evolutionary biology, industrial and operations engineering, School of Information, nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, physics, and the Department of Climate and Space Sciences. Eight of these 17 have already accepted positions as tenure -track faculty at U-M. Only four of the 17 have left U-M to accept tenure-track positions at other institutions. (The remaining five are current or new fellows.)
The U-M College of LSA launched the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in 2016 as a major college initiative aimed at promoting an inclusive scholarly environment, recruiting and retaining exceptional early career scholars, and supporting outstanding scholars who are committed to building a diverse intellectual community.
Read more about the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Compiled by Gail Kuhnlein