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M.S. Assistantships - Marine and Environmental Biology (crayfish) - Louisiana

Graduate & Postdoc
Expiration Date: 

Two Teaching Assistantships in Dr. Chris Bonvillain's Aquatic Ecology and Astacology Lab will be available for the Spring 2020 semester for the Master of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology program at Nicholls State University. Teaching Assistantships include tuition waiver. For more information about the program visit

Project 1 - The Atchafalaya River Basin in south-central Louisiana is the largest bottomland hardwood river-floodplain and swamp in North America and provides over 90% of the wild crayfish harvest in Louisiana, the most valuable fishery in the state. The successful applicant will conduct a two-year research project comparing population dynamics, physiological responses, and ovarian maturation in red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii from normoxic and chronically hypoxic habitats in the Atchafalaya River Basin. This is a field intense project that includes crayfish trapping and handling, habitat assessments, and quantification of physiological biomarkers and stable isotope analysis. Additionally, the student will work with research partners at The Nature Conservancy and participate in various project communication and reporting activities. Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license, have experience operating outboard engine boats, and able to tolerate harsh field conditions (hot, humid, rain, bugs, etc.). The stipend for project 1 is $12,600/year and tuition waiver.

Project 2 - The successful applicant will conduct a field research project that examines the distribution, population status, and habitat requirements for crayfishes, with emphasis on species of conservation concern, in Louisiana streams. This is a field intense project that includes habitat assessments and multiple active and passive capture techniques including traps, seines, and backpack electrofishing. The applicant should have previous field experience working in stream ecosystems. Previous experience working with and identifying crayfish is highly desirable. The stipend for project 2 is $16,000/year and tuition waiver. State the research project you are applying for on emails and application material.


Admission requirements include:

-B.S. degree in science curriculum

-minimum GPA of 3.0

-combined GRE (verbal + quantitative) of 300

Application procedure includes an online application and fee (, and cover letter, CV, official GRE scores and academic transcripts, and departmental application package ( including three letters of recommendation (forms included in departmental application). Deadline for applying is 27 October 2019. Application materials and questions regarding the program should be sent (email is preferred) to Dr. Chris Bonvillain, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 2021, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA 70310, 985-449-7116, See Graduate Faculty ( and Research Labs ( for more information on faculty.

See project descriptions for specific qualifications for each research project.

State the research project you are applying for on emails and application material.