Opportunity Type:

Ph.D. position in ecological synchrony of kelp forests at Univ. of Virginia / SBC LTER The Castorani Lab at the University of Virginia is recruiting one Ph.D. student to study ecological synchrony in giant kelp forests across California and Baja California, Mexico. The student will investigate the patterns, causes, and consequences of synchrony in kelp populations and associated reef communities using numerous long-term, large-scale datasets. The student will join an interdisciplinary team of PIs, postdocs, and graduate students at UVA, the University of Kansas, and UC Santa Barbara associated with a newly-funded NSF project (https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2023555). The student will also be part of the collaborative Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research program (SBC LTER; http://sbc.lternet.edu/).

The student will be advised by professor Max Castorani (https://castorani.evsc.virginia.edu/) and join UVA’s Department of Environmental Sciences (https://evsc.as.virginia.edu/). At the time of enrollment, highly-qualified applicants will have an undergraduate or master’s degree in biology, ecology, applied statistics, computer science, mathematics, or a related field. Ideal candidates will have interests in population or community ecology and strong quantitative skills, such as data analysis, ecological modeling, or scientific programming. UVA has a highly interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences (https://evsc.as.virginia.edu/prospective-graduate-students), offering training and conducting research in ecology, geosciences, hydrology, and atmospheric sciences. Graduate students accepted into the program are typically supported through a mixture of teaching assistantships and research assistantships that provide a competitive stipend, tuition, and health insurance.

The Castorani Lab is committed to creating an inclusive, equitable, and diverse research environment. Applicants will be considered regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information. Those interested should send the following items, as a single PDF, to Dr. Max Castorani (castorani@virginia.edu): (1) a brief description of their background, career goals, motivations for pursuing a graduate degree, research ideas, and why they are specifically interested in joining the Castorani Lab; (2) a CV with academic and professional experience (including GPA); (3) contact information for 2–3 references; and (4) a writing sample, if available. The application deadline is January 15, 2021 for enrollment in Fall 2021, however serious applicants should express their interest as soon as possible.