PhD Opportunity in Interdisciplinary Conservation at the University of Georgia

FW by Andy Wilson

We are anticipating an opportunity for a mature, energetic PhD student to study multiple environmental stressors, plant community dynamics, stakeholder perceptions, and conservation decision-making on a Georgia barrier island. This research assistantship would be available beginning summer or fall 2016 for a PhD student in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources ( and the Integrative Conservation PhD Program ( at the University of Georgia.

High-priority coastal upland and wetland plant communities are experiencing multiple environmental stressors, including intense deer herbivory, changing hydrological conditions, and fire suppression. In addition to research of plant community dynamics, the student will employ social science methodologies to study societal values and perceptions that affect management options. The student will develop and apply quantitative tools to predict plant community outcomes in response to management actions, and evaluate decision alternatives in terms of stakeholder objectives.

The Integrative Conservation (ICON) PhD program is a highly selective, innovative degree program that requires students to master in-depth training in their home discipline (Natural Resources, Ecology, Anthropology, or Geography), while also training participants to understand and employ multiple approaches from natural and social sciences to address complex conservation and sustainability issues. Students are encouraged to build transdisciplinary research programs that connect their research to applications, end users, and policy. Potential applicants are encouraged to peruse the ICON website to ensure that the program’s philosophy and structure align with their interests and goals.

The student will be advised by Warnell-ICON faculty members Lizzie King (primary advisor), Clint Moore, and Nate Nibbelink. Find links to our profiles at

Applicants are expected to have a master’s degree or commensurate research/publication experience in a relevant field of ecology or natural resources. Successful candidates will demonstrate aptitude and interest in quantitative areas including statistics, ecological modeling, or decision analysis. We are particularly interested in applicants who will be able to engage with local managers during the summer of 2016.

To apply, please send (1) a cover letter explaining how your background and interests align with the project and the degree program, (2) a CV with GRE scores and contact info for 3 references, and (3) unofficial transcripts, by email to Lizzie King ( Review of applications will begin January 20, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Candidates who apply before Jan 1, 2016 will be considered for additional competitive awards. Selected candidates will be asked to apply to the UGA Graduate School via the online application process described here:

For additional information, or to discuss this opportunity before applying, email Lizzie King at


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