Graduate opportunities – Terrestrial Ecosystems and Climate Change – Texas

Funded PhD and Masters Opportunities

Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses and Feedbacks to Climate Change Texas Tech University, Department of Biological Sciences, Lubbock, TX

I am looking for motivated PhD or Masters students interested in exploring terrestrial ecosystem responses and feedbacks to climate change. In my lab, we use a =

combination of empirical, theoretical, and simulation studies to examine feedbacks between terrestrial plants and soils and the Earth=92s climate system. You will have the opportunity to work on a variety of topics at a number of different scales, from the leaf to the globe. Topics currently being studied in the lab include:

– Photosynthetic acclimation to climate change – Physiological mechanisms underlying plant biomass responses to nutrient=

addition – Mechanistic models of plant respiration – Land use decision – climate feedbacks – Agricultural responses to climate – Development of next generation land surface models

More information about the lab is at

The lab has financial support for multiple students through a combination of research and teaching assistantships.

Requirements: (1) Bachelor=92s degree in a relevant field, including, but not limited to Ecology, Botany, Environmental Science, Microbiology, Atmospheric Science, Geoscience, Physics, Computer Science, or Statistics; (2) interest in gaining empirical and modeling skills; (3) curiosity about how the natural world works; (4) ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Interested students are encouraged to first contact Nick at nick.smith@tt= Application details can be found at

Positions are available starting as early as Summer 2018.

Nick Smith

Assistant Professor – Texas Tech University Adjunct Assistant Professor – Purdue University


Phone: 806-834-7363


Seeking MS or PhD student for Antarctic Research

The van Gestel lab at Texas Tech University (TTU), department of Biological Sciences and the TTU Climate Science Center is seeking for a qualified PhD or Master=92s student interested in carbon cycling. The lab is focused on microbial ecology and plant ecophysiology in the context of climate change.

Specific topics include: microbial responses to temperature variability, controls of microbial community composition, and plant photosynthetic responses to climate change. See for more information on research conducted in the van Gestel lab.

Brief description:

The student will conduct a warming experiment in Antarctica to understand the effects of warming on carbon fluxes, microbial activity, and plant growth. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation. The trip requires a 4-month trip to the western Antarctic Peninsula (December 2018 through early April 2019) at Palmer Station, a small US research station (see

The student will receive a research assistantship during the spring semester in which fieldwork is conducted. Teaching assistantships for other semesters are available through the Department of Biological Sciences.

Position: Master=92s or PhD

Qualifications: highly motivated, independent thinker, with a genuine interest in biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Experience in lab and/or fieldwork is preferred. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Start date: January 2018

Application material: – Letter of interest from the prospective student. That statement should include research interests, and a statement of the student=92s professional goals. Include GPA (including graduate GPA if applicable).

– Names and contact information of three references.

– Curriculum vitae.

To ensure consideration, submit application materials by October 20, 2017, to

MS position on Ecosystem Services of Wild and Scenic Rivers

The School of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability (SESES) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) seeks a graduate research assistant (GRA) at the Masters level interested in investigating the =93Ecosystem Services of Wild and Scenic Rivers.=94 The two-year GRA position will begin in fall 2018 and is part of a National Parks Service (NPS)-funded research project through the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit at NAU (see for details: The assistantship provides a 9- month stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance for the first year. This position will be extended as a teaching assistantship for an additional year or if funding permits, as a research assistantship. The GRA will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Denielle Perry. The Fall application deadline for SESES is January 15th, though earlier submissions are encouraged. Interested applicants should send a brief letter of interest and a copy of their CV (including GPA and GRE scores) via email to prior to formally applying to the NAU Graduate School.

Northern Arizona University=92s School of Earth Sciences and Environmenta=

l Sustainability draws upon faculty and professionals in the natural and social sciences to combine outreach and educational programs addressing the diverse needs of stakeholders with undergraduate degrees in environmental sciences, environmental studies, and geology.

For more information, visit:


MS Assistantship – Texas State University, San Marcos

Graduate Student Research Opportunity in Restoration Ecology

The Schwinning Lab is recruiting a graduate student (M.S.) to start in

January 2018. The position is in partly funded through a grant from the USGS

and partly through a teaching assistantship in the Biology Department at

Texas State University, San Marcos.

The study is located Utah conducted in collaboration with Dr. Lesley DeFalco

(USGS Field Office, Henderson, NV). The goal is to develop guidelines for

the restoration or rehabilitation of abandoned oil/gas exploration sites

within the Colorado Plateau bioregion. The student’s responsibility will be

to conduct restoration experiments to identify the main barriers to native

shrub establishment and develop remedies for overcoming such barriers. The

student will complete an M.S. degree in Population and Conservation Biology

in the Biology Department at Texas State University, San Marcos.

Minority students are especially encouraged to apply. The successful

candidate must have a strong background in any field of plant science and

the willingness and ability to do field work under challenging physical

conditions. If you are interested and want to learn more, contact Dr. Susan

Schwinning at To apply for the position, send (1) a

cover letter expressing your research interests, relevant experience and

present career goals; (2) a resume or CV; and (3) unofficial transcripts to

Dr. Schwinning. Applications to The Graduate College for the Spring Semester

of 2018 are due in early December.

Graduate (MS or PhD) prairie ecology position at the University of South Dakota

I am looking for a MS or PhD student interested in plant community ecology to begin in January 2018.  The University of South Dakota is beginning a graduate (MS and PhD) program in sustainability that is expected to be fully approved this semester.  The student could either major in sustainability or biology.

The research would be focused on the COmparing Managed Prairie Systems (COMPS) experiment, which is a field experiment that began in 2014.  The overarching research objective of this experiment is to determine how two factors, the timing of disturbance and plant functional group identity, interact to affect biomass production, plant community composition, and exotic species invasion in managed tallgrass prairie systems.  Research on the COMPS experiment will include aboveground and belowground plant dynamics.

Funding for the position will be through a combination of graduate assistantships and teaching assistantships.

Interested applicants should e-mail me ( with any questions and the following information:

*         a CV or resume with GPA and GRE scores and

*         a brief statement of research experience, research interests, and career goals.

Meghann Jarchow

Assistant Professor

Sustainability Program Coordinator

Department of Biology

University of South Dakota

Please e-mail Becca at for more information before you contact Jacque Benway, thanks.

Jacque from DEEP Marine Division is looking for volunteers to help with the CT river seine survey on Sep. 26 & Oct 4,11,18. Please let her know if you want to help out ( and cc me on the email please)! I worked on this survey when I was a seasonal for DEEP and it’s super fun! I’ll be helping out at least one of those October dates, so carpooling is possible if she can use two people (mention it in your email to her if that is an option you’re interested in).


Graduate Assistantship in Forest Nutrient Cycling

Ruth Yanai is seeking new graduate students (MS or PhD) to participate in a large collaborative project investigating above and belowground carbon allocation, nutrient cycling, and tradeoffs involved in multiple resource allocation.  The Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems (MELNHE) project has field sites located at Hubbard Brook, Jeffers Brook, and Bartlett Experimental Forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.=20 Since 2011, thirteen stands have been receiving N, P, N&P, and control treatments in 0.25-ha plots, with six stands receiving Ca treatments. Research in the MELNHE project includes soil respiration, soil mineralization, beech bark disease, leaf production by species, foliar nutrient resorption, water use, mycorrhizae, forest productivity, and snail and arthropod diversity.  More information on the project can be found at

We welcome inquiries from prospective students interested in forest ecology, nutrient cycling, and uncertainty analysis. Applicants should be self-

motivated, excited to work as part of a multi-investigator project, have laboratory and field experience, and be comfortable living and working in a group setting. A field crew blog from previous years is available at

A January 2018 start is an option.  Normally, students start in the field about June 1, so as to become familiar with the field sites and our research activities before starting classes in late August.=20  Funding will consist of a combination of research and teaching assistantships. A stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a summer position with the field crew in New Hampshire will be provided. Prospective students may apply to the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management or the Graduate Program in Environmental Science, both at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY.

We appreciate communicating with students as part of the application process. Students are encouraged to review MELNHE related data and publications and supply their own ideas for research in relation to the project. Prospective students should begin that conversation by requesting the password for Ruth’s project materials from Mary Hagemann at

Thank you,

Mary Hagemann/Research Support Specialist

Graduate student assistantship (U. Maryland): Ecological/conservation genomics of trees

The Gugger Lab <> at the University of

Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) is seeking a motivated

Ph.D. or M.S. student to develop a thesis project on ecological,

evolutionary, or conservation genomics of trees. The lab uses

next-generation sequencing approaches to understand how populations of

long-lived trees respond evolutionarily to environmental change, the

molecular basis of local adaptation, the factors influencing population

genetic variation, the role of hybridization in adaptation and speciation,

and implications for conservation under global change.

The ideal applicant will have prior research experience in population

genetics or plant ecology/evolution, molecular laboratory skills, strong

quantitative skills, and proficiency in or interest in learning basic


The graduate student will matriculate through the Marine, Estuarine, and

Environmental Sciences (MEES) Graduate Program ( at

the University of Maryland, College Park but will reside at the Appalachian

Laboratory in scenic Frostburg (western MD, for

the duration of the degree. Three years of support are available through

research assistantships, with additional support possible through teaching

assistantships and fellowships (e.g.,

<>). Starting date can be as

soon as January 2018 and no later than Fall 2018.

To apply, please first email Paul Gugger ( a single PDF

containing (1) a statement of interest, (2) a CV, and (3) contact

information for three references. Please indicate =E2=80=9CGenomics graduat=


position=E2=80=9D in your subject line.

UMCES is an affirmative action, EOE. Individuals with disabilities,

veterans, women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

M.S. Assistantship in Social-Ecological Systems – Nebraska

M.S. Assistantship in Social-Ecological Systems – Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit within the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team that aims to understand spatial and temporal patterns and dynamics in a social-

ecological system.  The Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (VNWR), located in north-central Nebraska, represents an important social-

ecological system that is managed for multiple purposes and visitors.=20 However, it is unclear how visitors may differ in their spatial and temporal use of the VNWR.  The successful candidate will 1) quantify visitor use within this tractable system, 2) identify the types of visitors and how they use the VNWR, and 3) explore spatial and temporal interactions among visitors across the VNWR landscape.  Data will be collected using a suite of on- and off-site methods.  Individuals interested in social-ecological systems, landscape ecology, behavioral ecology, environmental sciences, and social sciences are encouraged to apply.  Collaboration with agency, academic, and general public entities will be required.  Applicants must hold a valid driver=92s license and pass a university drivers background check.  Please email a single document including a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts and GRE scores, and contact information for three references to Dr. Mark Kaemingk ( and Dr. Kevin Pope ( Applications will be reviewed when received and the position will remain open until filled.  Expected start date of January 2018.

Ph.D. student – Agroecology and/or Conservation Science – UC Davis

We are seeking Ph.D. students interested in agro-ecology and/or conservation biology to join the Karp Lab in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis. The Karp lab ( has a diversity of ongoing projects focused on (1) understanding patterns of bird biodiversity across climate and land-use gradients, (2) quantifying impacts of alternative agricultural practices on biodiversity-driven ecosystem services and disservices, and (3) identifying tradeoffs among biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform development of multi-

functional landscapes.

Candidates with interest and/or experience in conservation science, ecosystem services, agro-ecology, community ecology, and/or countryside biogeography are encouraged to apply. If interested, please send a current CV with GPA and GRE scores and a brief (<1 page) statement describing your research interests to Daniel Karp ( Interested applicants would apply to UC Davis=92s Graduate Group in Ecology (, which is consistently ranked as one of the top ecology graduate programs in the United States. Applications are due Dec. 15, 2017.=20 Underrepresented groups, women, and those with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The University of California, Davis is a Research I public university located in the Central Valley of California. Local ecological research activities are possible in the diverse farmland, forests, wetlands, and grasslands that typify the area. Easy access to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Trinity Alps, and the coast provide for a suite of recreational activities. Davis is also adjacent to Sacramento, a burgeoning metropolitan area, and close to San Francisco and Berkeley.