The Quantitative Marine Conservation Ecology (QMCE) lab, run by Dr. Susan Piacenza, at University of West Florida is currently recruiting 1-2 enthusiastic and motivated M.S. graduate students to begin in Fall 2018. Students are expected to develop independent projects in applied marine ecology that complement work in the lab. Ongoing projects include both theoretical and empirical work on sea turtle population dynamics and recovery, monitoring and population assessment, and analyzing the drivers of high biomass in rocky reef fish. Potential projects include modelling sea turtle population dynamics and monitoring to improve the accuracy of population assessments, extending an agent-based model of sea turtles to be spatially explicit (and could be applied to test questions about sea turtle ecology and climate change), and assessing how highly fecund individuals contribute to population recovery under varying conditions. In addition, the lab is currently setting up pilot studies for the use of stereo-video cameras to measure juvenile sea turtles and fishes on natural and artificial reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We are also interested in the ecological interactions of man-made reefs and reef fish abundance and diversity.
Competitive applicants should have a strong interest in quantitative marine conservation ecology (i.e. like math and statistics), and a passion to positively influence science and marine conservation. Students are expected to obtain quantitative skills, fluency in scientific communication, and learn some programming. Students with previous experience in math, statistics, engineering, or computer science are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with experience in SCUBA-based research (AAUS, or equivalent) are preferred (especially for field based projects), but not required.
More details about work in the QMCE lab can be found here: www.susanpiacenza.com. Details on the graduate program of the Biology Department at UWF can be found athttp://uwf.edu/cse/departments/biology/graduate-programs/ms-biology/. For preferred consideration (and access to graduate assistantships), graduate applications are due February 15, 2018. Prospective students should include a statement of research interests in the email text, a CV that includes GPA, GRE scores, and list of references to Susan Piacenza (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UWF is an equal opportunity employer and underrepresented and minority groups are encouraged to apply.