Positions Available

Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Trophic phenotypes as mediators of resilience to climate change
University of Maine, Orono, and the USGS Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit – in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology

Responsibilities: Two new Ph.D. students will participate in a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded study on trailing edge (southern) populations of Arctic Charr. These refugial populations are isolated and thus presumed vulnerable to interacting abiotic and biotic aspects of climate change that could compress the specie’s niche to the point of collapse. However, this outcome, and many predictive models, assume a relatively fixed species niche and do not factor in that such populations often exhibit intraspecific trophic diversity and lability, representing the potential capacity to exploit multiple alternative niches. One Ph.D. student (advised by Dr. Christina Murphy) will focus on limnology and food webs. The second Ph.D. student (co-supervised by Drs. Michael Kinnison and Nathan Furey at the University of New Hampshire) will focus on Arctic charr movements (through high-resolution acoustic telemetry) and diet. Both students will collaborate with team members advancing a 20-year mark-recapture dataset and genomic analysis of trophic adaptation.

While experience with, and enthusiasm for, fish, macroinvertebrates, R, and other aquatic field and laboratory techniques would be desirable, a willingness to learn and attention to detail are necessities. The project may involve remote work and camping. Good communication skills are essential as this project will be collaborative with multiple partners including an exciting team of researchers and resource practitioners.

Qualifications: M.S. in biology, ecology, statistics, or other relevant disciplines, quantitative skills, interest in aquatic ecology, and excellent work ethics. We are committed to valuing diverse identities, experiences, and skills.

Salary: $26,000 per year (4 years) will be paid through Research Assistantship. Tuition and half of health insurance will be covered by the project. There may also be an opportunity for one or two semesters of Teaching Assistantship support.

Closing date: when filled; anticipated start date of Fall 2022, with potential to start in spring.

Contact: Please apply at tinyurl.com/MainePhD (https://forms.gle/ktBSbZDvnbbPM3416)

Questions or trouble applying? Email christina.murphy@maine.edu, mkinnison@maine.edu, and/or Nathan.Furey@unh.edu with the subject header “Charr Ph.D. Assistantship”

We especially encourage applicants from underrepresented or historically excluded groups to apply.


Updated 9/20/2022