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PhD Positions in Nature based solutions and coastal resilience

Graduate Position Picture

The ‘Bama Ecohydrology Lab (http://ecohydrology.ua.edu) and the Wetland Ecology Lab (https://cherrylab.ua.edu) at The University of Alabama are both seeking one PhD student (two positions total) to focus on ecological engineering, nature based solutions, and coastal resilience as part of a larger collaborative project. The broader research team is focused on developing actionable design guidance for Nature Based Solutions (i.e., wetland restoration) along the US Gulf Coast. Our highly interdisciplinary group includes social scientists, wetland ecologists, water resource engineers, and government agency partners; and our goal is to develop design guidance for wetland restoration activities that reduce flooding and increase community resilience. To accomplish this goal, we will employ a combination of community engagement, wetland plant community characterization, and state-of-the-art hydrologic and hydraulic modeling.

The successful candidates will work closely with social scientists, wetland ecologists, ecohydrologists, and water resource engineers to develop, assess, and communicate Nature Based Solution design alternatives. Through this work, the candidates will also be expected to develop hypothesis-driven research that is based on their interests and is aligned with at least one of the two research labs. Potential research topics could include partitioning water fluxes through coastal wetland systems, characterizing dynamic feedbacks between wetland plant communities and flooding, assessing the recovery of biological structure and ecosystem functions following restoration, quantifying uncertainty in nature based solution design, and/or identifying socio-environmental drivers of wetland loss and restoration from wetland- to regional-scales. Projects that integrate between the ecohydrology and wetland ecology lab groups are welcome. 

The ideal candidates will have BS and MS degrees in a relevant field (i.e., ecology, environmental science, environmental engineering, or closely related field). The candidates should be excited about working on an interdisciplinary team, interacting with community partners, and conducting both basic and applied research. Further, experience with scripting languages (e.g., R, Python, or Matlab), geographic information systems (e.g., QGIS, GRASS, or ArcGIS), and/or publishing experience are preferred but not required.

The University of Alabama provides equal opportunity in education and employment for all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (which includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression), age, disability, or veteran status.

For more information, please contact Dr. Nate Jones ([email protected]) or Dr. Julia Cherry ([email protected]).


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