PhD position: Fire and Trophic Diversity, University of Nevada Reno

Lee Dyer at the University of Nevada Reno, and Joseph O’Brien of the US Forest Service in Georgia are seeking to recruit a motivated PhD student to become part of a team of researchers examining the relationships between fire and diversity in longleaf pine forests in the Southern United States with a focus on quantifying diversity of trophic interactions.

Requirements: The successful applicant for this position should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with demonstrated experience in ecology, evolution, or statistics. Helpful skills include: Quantitative experience (statistical models,  analytical models, simulations),
SAS and R programming skills, natural history experience in southern pine ecosystems, passion for fire, insects, plants, and diversity. The student will be supported by a paid Research Assistantship (RA) while working towards a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EECB) at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR).  Work would be conducted with Dr. Lee Dyer at UNR and Dr. Joe O’Brien at the US Forest Service, Georgia, as well as with collaborators across the Americas.

Research: We can offer 4 years of competitive RA support, followed by TA positions. The study site is located in old growth longleaf pine sites in the Florida panhandle at Eglin Air Force Base. Longleaf pine forests are one of the most biologically rich terrestrial ecosystems in the world and the study sites is located in the largest remaining intact longleaf landscape. The candidate would be actively involved in both experimental and operational prescribed fires and will receive wildland fire certification through the USFS. The PhD student will live part time in Reno and part time in Florida.

About the Region: The University of Nevada, Reno is located in the western Great Basin, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains; in other words, it is one of the best places to live in the world. Reno is a small, dynamic, and diverse city, with opportunities for excellent dining and community events along the scenic Truckee River that runs through town.  We find that quality of life here is high, particularly if you are interested in outdoor activities, including world class rock climbing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, tubing, swimming, photography, and birding. And if you love cool big cities (and traffic) the bay area (San Francisco) is just a few hours away by car. The study site is located near Destin, FL and minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and associated beaches. While Florida is topographically challenged when compared to Nevada, outdoor opportunities still abound including kayaking, sailing, SCUBA diving, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Deadline: We prefer to fill the position this coming Spring (January 2014), but we are also open to a starting date at the end of the Spring semester (May 2014).   Position will be open until filled.

To apply: please send the following: (1) CV including names and contact info for 3 references; (2) GRE scores and GPA from previous programs; (3) cover letter stating your interest in pursuing a PhD and stating your ability to start in either Spring or Summer (2014).   Send materials to:

For more information:
Lee Dyer
Biology Dept. 0314
UNR 1664 N Virginia St
Reno, NV 89557
phone: 504-220-9391 (cell)
775-784-1360 (office)

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