Ph.D. Graduate Assistantships in Community and Spatial Ecology in Aquatic Ecosystems, U. Alabama

FW by Andy Wilson
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The Howeth Lab (http://bama.ua.edu/~jghoweth/index.html) in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama invites applications for Ph.D. students in community and ecosystem ecology beginning January, May, or August 2017. Highly motivated and qualified students with a B.S. or M.S. in Biology/Ecology are sought to:

(1) conduct studies to understand the role of succession in metacommunity and food web structure using replicate successional pond mosaics. Projects will focus on fish and/or invertebrate (e.g., crayfish, odonates, plankton) community composition and ecosystem properties among beaver-formed ponds in different stages of succession. This work will utilize field-based approaches in the streams and beaver ponds of the Talladega National Forest in Alabama, including the NSF NEON Domain 8 core site. The project will also involve dendrochronology, GIS/remote sensing, stable isotope analyses, and experiments at the University of Alabama Tanglewood Biological Station. This is a NSF-funded project.

(2) conduct studies on the influence of metacommunity/ spatial dynamics on community invasibility, species diversity, and ecosystem function across scales using zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, and fish as a model system. Projects may also build on ongoing research in the lab with non-native Daphnia and zebra mussels. Research can leverage observational studies of regional reservoirs/ponds and microcosm/mesocosm experiments at the University of Alabama Tanglewood Biological Station. Students will be encouraged to develop independent projects, testing and extending contemporary ecological theory. Opportunities also exist for applied invasion research, including developing risk assessment models for zebra mussels in reservoirs of the southwestern US.

Students will be funded on a combination of teaching and research assistantships, which include a competitive stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver. Interested students should send an e-mail to Dr. Jennifer Howeth (jghoweth@ua.edu) no later than November 1 with “Graduate Assistantship” in the title, and include a (1) cover letter, (2) CV, (3) statement of research interests and experience, (4) scientific writing sample (e.g., laboratory report, thesis, manuscript), (5) GRE scores (if available), (6) unofficial copies of transcripts, and (7) contact information for three references in biology/ecology.

Qualified applicants will be invited to apply to the Department of Biological Sciences by the December 5, 2016 departmental deadline for Summer or Fall 2017 admission. Those interested in a January 2017 start date will be invited to apply by November 1, 2016.

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