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Ph.D. position in oyster reef restoration ecology at University of Virginia

The Castorani Lab at the University of Virginia is recruiting a Ph.D. student to study the ecology of restored oyster reefs at the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research project (VCR LTER; https://vcrlter.virginia.edu/). The Virginia Coast Reserve is a temperate coastal lagoon with a 20-year legacy of oyster reef restoration led by The Nature Conservancy and studied by researchers at UVA and beyond (https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/virginia/stories-in-virginia/vcr-marine-restoration/).

The student will undertake new field experiments, analyze existing long-term data, and create models to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural and restored oyster populations, and resolve the influence of local conditions and larval dispersal. 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/). The student will interface with a large community of VCR LTER scientists, as well as restoration practitioners at The Nature Conservancy.

The student will join the UVA Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences (https://evsc.as.virginia.edu/prospective-graduate-students), which offers interdisciplinary training and conducts research in ecology, hydrology, geology, and atmospheric science. 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.

At the time of enrollment, highly qualified applicants will have an undergraduate or master’s degree in biology, ecology, oceanography, fisheries, or a related field. Ideal candidates will have strong interests in population dynamics and marine ecology; experience in field ecology; and demonstrated quantitative skills, such as data analysis or scientific programming (or a strong motivation to acquire such skills).

Those interested should send the following items, as a single PDF, to Dr. Max Castorani ([email protected]): (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 3 references; and (4) a writing sample, if available.

The application deadline is January 15, 2023 for enrollment in Fall 2023. However, serious applicants should express their interest by email as soon as possible.

The Castorani Lab is committed to creating an inclusive, equitable, and diverse research environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


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