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MS assistantship in freshwater molecular ecology at Central Michigan University

Graduate & Postdoc
Expiration Date: 

Position Summary:

An MS assistantship is available under the supervision of Dr. Dave Zanatta and Dr. Daelyn Woolnough in the Institute for Great Lakes Research and Department of Biology at Central Michigan University (CMU). The project will involve developing an environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring program for the endangered Snuffbox mussel in the Great Lakes drainage. Project funding is from US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and will involve a close collaboration with USFWS scientists.

A full stipend (Teaching Assistantship and/or Research Assistantship during the academic year and a grant-funded Research Assistantship for 2 summers) 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.

Stipend: ~$21,000/yr + tuition waiver

Start date: mid-May 2020

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

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

Before applying to the MS graduate program in Biology, please email a single PDF document to BOTH Dr. Woolnough ( AND 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 us for more information about the graduate programs, our research, and more specifics about the project.

Dave Zanatta’s lab:

Daelyn Woolnough’s lab:

Due dates: A decision on the top applicant(s) will be made ASAP or by Monday January 13, 2020. The top applicant(s) will be asked to submit a full application to the CMU graduate school and Biology Department by Feb 1, 2020.