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Aquatic Ecology Research Assistant

Expiration Date: 

Aquatic Ecology Research Assistant
The Ohio State University Aquatic Ecology Laboratory
Columbus, OH


POSITION DESCRIPTION:  One full-time, six-month position for a research assistant is available at The Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory. The Research Assistant will work on a project focused on the role of zooplankton in shaping nutrient cycling and harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. During the 2021 field season, the research assistant will help conduct measurements of zooplankton grazing and nutrient excretion in western Lake Erie and process associated biological and nutrient samples. The Research Assistant will work closely with a PhD student assisting with field surveys, laboratory experiments, sample analyses, laboratory maintenance, data analyses, and undergraduate student mentorship. See to learn more about the Hood Lab and to learn more about the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory.


  • 50% Laboratory analyses: Analysis of soluble and particulate carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus samples; analysis of chlorophyll-a and organic matter samples; maintenance and operation of laboratory equipment (including a Latchet autoanalyzer and/or an Exeter CHN analyzer), spaces, and supplies. Potential for analysis of micro- and mesozooplankton samples with light microscopy.
  • 40% Conducting laboratory experiments and field surveys: The Research Assistant will help conduct laboratory experiments to measure zooplankton grazing and nutrient recycling in western Lake Erie to understand how these processes shape harmful algal bloom dynamics. There may be opportunity to conduct field work and collections aboard a research vessel on western Lake Erie.
  • 10% Data analysis: Data-related tasks will involve entry and preparation of field and experimental data. Depending on experience and interest, the position will allow for involvement in analyses and potentially manuscript writing.

EXPERIENCE:  Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field (ecology, natural resources, fisheries). Further education and/or experience is preferred. Candidate must be self-motivated and willing to work both independently and in a team setting. Preferred qualifications include: a) training and interest in aquatic ecology; b) experience with laboratory analysis of soluble (NH4, NO3, and SRP) and particulate nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) samples with an autoanalyzer; c) prior field and laboratory experience; and d) experience with the R statistical computing environment and an introductory-level understanding of statistics.

SALARY: ~$15/hour, depending upon experience. This is a full-time (40 hr/wk), six-month position that may be extended depending upon performance and funding availability.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applications can be submitted through the The Ohio State University’s classified site (see link). Please direct questions to Jim Hood ( and Lyndsie Collis (Ph.D. student leading project; We will start reviewing applications on Feb 17, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.