The Aquatic Ecology Lab (http://www.baylor.edu/aquaticlab) and the Evolutionary Ecotoxicology Lab (https://www.baylor.edu/environmentalscience/index.php?id=954200) at Baylor University is seeking applicants for a PhD graduate assistantship starting Fall or Spring 2019. Applicants should apply to the PhD programs in Biology (http://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=68415) or the interdisciplinary PhD program in Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (TIEEES; https://www.baylor.edu/tieees/).
The student will focus their research on the ecology and population genetics of longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) and alligator gar (Atractosteus spathula) along the Brazos River, the longest river and largest watershed in Texas. The study will focus on up to 6 populations separated by a series of dams/reservoirs over hundreds of kilometers along the middle Brazos River. The student will be heavily involved with capturing, marking, and collecting tissue samples for analysis for genetic sequencing, stable isotopes, and metabolomics of both species over multiple years among these disparate populations. Full characterization of water chemistry, basal food resources, and flow regime will also be fundamental components of the study. The student will be expected to develop additional independent questions related to the project as part of the PhD dissertation.
Baylor affords outstanding research and teaching facilities. Both the Aquatic Ecology Lab and the Evolutionary Ecotoxicology Lab are housed in the 500,000 sq. ft Baylor Sciences Building and recently moved into new expansion space to accommodate growth of the lab. Student offices are situated adjacent to the lab and other aquatic teaching and research labs, most notably the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research, an analytical laboratory supporting a suite of water, soil, and tissue chemical analyses. A stable-isotope mass spectrometer lab is also down just down the hall, one of several multi-user shared facilities offering state-of-the-art instrumentation. Off campus, the 180-acre Lake Waco Wetlands (https://www.waco-texas.com/cms-wetlands/ ) supports our Baylor Experimental Aquatic Research (BEAR) outdoor stream facility (https://www.baylor.edu/aquaticlab/index.php?id=45867 ), one of the largest stream mesocosm facilities in North America.
Baylor offers excellent financial support for qualified applicants. Annual stipends start at $24,000. Top students typically receive an stipend enhancements from the Graduate School ranging from $1,000-$8,000/y, thus total annual stipends reach up to $32,000/y. Stipends and stipend enhancements are awarded to students for up to 5 years, assuming the student remains in good standing in the department. Students who apply to the TIEES program receive a 3-year research fellowship which exempts them from teaching; the other two years of stipend are either supported by extramural funding or a TA in the Department of Biology or Environmental Science. Admission also includes full tuition remission (up to a 20 credits per year), health insurance benefits (80% of cost of premium covered; cost to student ~$500/y in 2016), and additional funding opportunities to travel to professional meetings.
Applicants should possess an M.S. degree or substantial undergraduate research experience, competitive GRE scores, and undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) GPA of 3.25 or higher. Applicants also must possess a U.S. driver's license. Please review additional departmental admission guidelines (http://www.baylor.edu/biology/index.php?id=68418) or (https://www.baylor.edu/tieees/index.php?id=941854).
If you meet these criteria and are considering applying, please send an email describing your background and interests to Dr. Ryan S. King (Ryan_S_King@baylor.edu) and Dr. Cole W. Matson (Cole_Matson@baylor.edu). No application will be considered without previous interaction by email and telephone/skype with Drs. King and Matson. Complete applications need to be submitted to the Graduate School as soon as possible for consideration for Fall or Spring 2019 admission.