PhD Position: Dendrochronology and Isotope Geochemistry, University of Nevada – Reno

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. student to fill a graduate research position that is currently available in the DendroLab at the University of Nevada Reno, working with Dr. Franco Biondi.
This position is part of a project entitled “Past extension of the North American Monsoon System (NAMS) into the Great Basin reconstructed from cell-to-ecosystem dendrochronology“. The successful applicant will be part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes experts on stable isotopic analysis, wood anatomy, dendrochronology, and numerical analysis. The specific hypotheses that will be tested by the research team concern tree-ring reconstructions of monsoonal climate, especially with regard to formation of intra-annual density fluctuations (false rings) in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). The project will leverage the recently built NevCAN (Nevada Climate and Ecohydrological Assessment Network) instrumental transects. These valley-to-mountain-top observatories span 2000-m elevation gradients in the Snake Range (eastern Nevada) and in the Sheep Range (southern Nevada), which is included in the northwestern limit of the North American Monsoon System. This project is also part of an ongoing collaboration between the DendroLab and the Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada.
Financial support includes a monthly stipend, support for travel to scientific meetings, field and laboratory analyses, tuition and health insurance. The position is available starting in January 2015, and will remain open until filled. The appointment will be initially for one year, with a possibility of renewal for two additional years.
Requirements: Applicants should have an undergraduate or graduate degree in chemistry, biology, wood science, hydrology, ecology, or a related field. The ideal candidate should have a strong quantitative background and interest in interdisciplinary and experimental approaches to the development of proxy climate records. Experience in one or more of these areas is particularly welcomed: stable isotopic analysis, numerical analysis in script-based environments (such as R or SAS), and wood anatomy. It is expected that the primary role of the student will be in field and laboratory activities related to stable isotope analyses.
To Apply: Candidates need to apply for graduate admission on-line, and will become eligible for the position after being accepted by the UNR Graduate School in one of these two graduate programs (depending on the student’s interests): Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology or Hydrologic Sciences. International applicants can find additional information on admission requirements on the Graduate School website.
Contact: For questions or additional details on the position, please contact Prof. Franco Biondi (, +1 775 784-6921).
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