The Paleolimnology Laboratory at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus is seeking 1-2 highly motivated students interested in pursuing a M.S. degree in Conservation Biology with research focused on the conservation paleoecology of Florida lakes. We use sedimentary evidence (i.e. diatoms, pollen, plant macrofossils, algal pigments, zoological indicators, eDNA, geochemistry, and stable isotopes) to reconstruct the historical ecology of lakes, and to address community- and ecosystem-level questions. Our research documents natural variation and anthropogenic impacts, and it has applications in lake restoration, management, and conservation.
Graduate students in the Conservation Biology Program are funded through Graduate Teaching Assistant positions, and support includes a competitive stipend, full tuition waivers, and health insurance benefits for a minimum of two years contingent upon satisfactory progress. Opportunities for funding as a Research Assistant might be available in addition. Admission to the graduate program is competitive and requires a B.S. degree in Biology or a related degree (i.e. Botany, Zoology), with formal course work in ecology, genetics, evolution, and taxonomy. Florida is an important lake district within the U.S. because it contains approximately 8000 warm-temperate lakes. We are particularly interested in recruiting students who are eager to gain field experience, who would be comfortable traveling throughout the state, and who look forward to working collaboratively as part of a research team that focuses on the conservation and restoration of Florida’s lake ecosystems.
If you are interested in learning more about recent research projects and potential thesis topics, please contact Drs. Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Thomas Whitmore, (email@example.com) for more details and to arrange a virtual interview. We ask that interested students contact us before submitting their application because admission to the program is contingent upon acceptance by a faculty research mentor. The Fall 2022 Priority Application deadline for this graduate program is February 1, 2022. See also: https://www.usf.edu/graduate-studies/.