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MS Assistantship in Conservation Genetic of Freshwater Mussels

Expiration Date: 

An MS assistantship is available under the supervision of Dr. Dave Zanatta in the Institute for Great Lakes Research and Department of Biology at Central Michigan University (CMU). The project involves the conservation genetics, population genomics/phylogeography, and/or eDNA monitoring of Threatened/Endangered freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes drainage.

Depending on the amount of funding from government agencies that is secured, a full stipend (Teaching Assistantship and/or Research Assistantship during the academic year and a grant-funded Research Assistantship for at least 1 summer) and tuition waiver will be provided for the MS student for 2 years. A university-funded Research Assistantship may be offered to highly qualified applicants.

Required Qualifications:

BS in Biology or related field; interests in molecular ecology, aquatic ecology, conservation biology, and/or freshwater mussels; basic knowledge of DNA lab techniques (DNA extraction, PCR/rtPCR, gel electrophoresis, Sanger sequencing) and ecological statistics; valid driver’s license; comfortable working in the water; strong writing and oral communication skills; GPA >3.0.

Desired Qualifications:

Demonstrated research experience with molecular ecology techniques (undergraduate research project, conference presentation(s), publication); experience with freshwater mussel (unionid) sampling; GPA >3.5

Stipend: $14,000 to $21,000/yr (dependent on available grant funding) + tuition waiver

Start date: early June 2021

More information about the MS programs in Biology at CMU is available here:

By January 8, 2021 and before formally applying to the MS graduate program in Biology at CMU, please email a single PDF document to Dr. Zanatta ( that contains: (1) a letter of interest describing your qualifications, experience and background, (2) your CV, (3) GRE scores and percentiles (send if available – not required), (4) GPA and unofficial transcripts, and (5) contact information for 2 academic/research references. Feel free to contact Dr. Zanatta for more information about the graduate programs, my lab’s research, and more specifics about the project.

Dave Zanatta’s lab webpage: