PhD Assistantship – Biodiversity and eDNA, University of Wyoming

Graduate Assistantship available to work with  Melanie Murphy (Department of Ecosystem Science and Management/Program in Ecology)  at University of Wyoming in collaboration The Nature Conservancy (Craig Leisher, Tim Boucher and Jeffrey Evans).

The PhD student will develop new methods for using environmental DNA (eDNA) for holistic biodiversity assessment.  Study areas include Northern Rocky Mountains, Gabon and potentially Baja Sur, Mexico.  Using paired eDNA and bioacoustics sampling, we will ask the questions including: 1) Are relatively intact areas more biodiverse than fragmented landscapes? and 2) is presence of rare species of conservation concern a reliable index of biodiversity?

Prospective students with a background in ecology, wildlife, and/or population genetics are encouraged to apply.  Evidence of robust analytical skills, ability to work independently under challenging field conditions, strong work ethic, quality scientific writing, passion for scientific inquiry, and aptitude for collaborative research are expected.  Previous experience in bioinformatics, population genetics laboratory skills (particularly using low quality/low quantity DNA), and spatial analysis are desirable but not required.  Data collection efforts will require working in remote field conditions, international travel, working in rivers/wetlands and driving a 4WD vehicle.  To apply, please send a statement of interest, complete CV, unofficial transcripts, unofficial GRE scores, and contact information for three professional references as a single PDF file (LastName_Biodiversity.pdf)   Application deadline is June 4, 2019, although review of applicants is currently on-going. First-received applicants will have priority.  Start date is late August 2019 (start of fall semester).

Area and Institution: University of Wyoming ( is ideally located in Laramie, Wyoming with easy access to varied field sites and outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition, the campus is only 1 hour from Fort Collins and ~2 hours from an international airport (Denver, CO).  Applicants are encouraged to investigate the Program in Ecology (, an integrated, interdepartmental PhD program in ecological science.

Support for this graduate position may be through either a Women in Graduate Education Graduate or Underrepresented Domestic Minority Assistantship.  The University of Wyoming Women in Graduate Education Graduate Assistantships (WGE) are competitive awards intended to increase access and opportunities for U.S. domestic women in graduate degree programs where they are underrepresented. The WGE awards are funded through a partnership of the Office of Graduate Education and the faculty mentor(s) of the prospective student.  The University of Wyoming Under-represented Domestic Minority (URDM) assistantships are intended to increase access and opportunities to graduate education for U.S. students from under-represented/ under-served communities and to increase student diversity in our graduate degree programs on a competitive basis. Statement of interest should address if applicant would qualify for URDM.  The URDM awards are funded through a partnership of the Office of Academic Affairs and the faculty mentor(s) of the prospective student. The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy. Please see