REU: Forest carbon cycling and biotic wood decay, tropical QLD, Australia (Summer 2020

Applications are invited for an undergraduate student to join an NSF-funded project based out of George Washington University studying carbon cycling and the relative role of fungi versus termites in breaking down wood. We are working at remote field sites from rainforest to savanna north of Cairns, QLD, Australia (Brooklyn Sanctuary and JCU Daintree Rainforest Observatory), as well as James Cook University in Cairns. We have a 4 to 8-week (between mid May and mid August 2020, with flexibility) REU fellowship to assist with our wood decay experimental harvest and join living and deadwood biomass and termite surveys. The student will work closely with faculty, postdocs and graduate students on the project to learn about tropical field ecology and develop a project of their choosing within the overall scope of the project. The work will entail long hours, strenuous hiking, staying at field stations and camping sites along our gradient and working in hot tropical conditions. Stipend ($600/week), housing costs, food allowance and round-trip airfare to Cairns, Australia are included. The successful student must be a US citizen, US national or permanent resident and an undergraduate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher ideally majoring in ecology, biology or a related field and graduating no earlier than end of fall 2020. We especially encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences and from colleges with limited research opportunities to apply. The student must show proof of enrollment in overseas health insurance. Application review will begin on 13 March 2020 and the position will remain open until filled. Complete applications and any questions should be sent to Dr. Amy Zanne ( Applications should include: unofficial transcripts with list of relevant courses, resume, contact information for three references and two statements. The first statement should be what experience the student brings to the project including outdoors, travel, and research, and the second statement should be what the student hopes to gain from the experience, including how this project will benefit their future research and career goals.