Opportunity Type:

The Gedan Lab at George Washington University is recruiting a full-time PhD student to research the response of maritime forest and coastal agricultural plant communities to saltwater intrusion. The research will take place at the Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site and other field sites on the Delmarva Peninsula. The student will be part of National NSF-supported LTER and Critical Zone Network communities, which will provide numerous opportunities for cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary collaborations and networking.

The Virginia Coast Reserve LTER spans the Virginia barrier islands, coastal bays, and mainland ecosystems. Research at the LTER investigates marine transgression, ecosystem state shifts, and linkages between adjacent and non-adjacent ecosystems in this coastal system responding to accelerated sea level rise and other global changes. The Gedan Lab group leads a large-scale forest disturbance experiment at the LTER to investigate the transition of coastal forest to tidal marsh. The PhD student would be involved in this experiment, which is moving into a pivotal phase of disturbance implementation through tree girdling at the end of 2021.

The Gedan Lab (www.gedanlab.com) in the Biological Sciences Department at George Washington University investigates the response of coastal plants and ecosystems to global changes in climate, sea level, nutrient availability, and invasive species. We focus on conservation-priority, shallow, marine ecosystems, especially tidal marsh. We are interested in marsh migration and the conversion of natural and human-dominated uplands, as well as the novel ecosystems and interactions occurring in transitioning coastal areas. The lab is located in an interdisciplinary science building with a state-of-the-art greenhouse in downtown Washington, DC, across the street from the Foggy Bottom Metro station. The Department of Biological Sciences provides competitive five-year support packages to graduate students through teaching assistantships and fellowships.

Qualified students will have coursework in ecology or environmental science and experience in field research and working with ecological data. Experience with sensor data is preferred but not required. Training will be provided in plant identification and ecological and analytical methods. If interested, please email Keryn Gedan at kgedan@gwu.edu with a CV and relevant experience.