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M.S. Graduate Opportunity: Estimating contaminant movement across terrestrial-aquatic boundaries

Graduate & Postdoc
Expiration Date: 

Agency/Organization: University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Lab & Odum School of Ecology

Location: UGA (Athens, GA) / Savannah River Site, near Aiken, SC

Job Category: Graduate Assistantship

Salary: Stipend w/tuition remission (some teaching may be required while on campus)

Start Date: August 2020

Last Date to Apply: We request that applicants provide requested materials via email by 1 November 2019. Competitive applicants will be asked to submit an official application to UGA by 1 December 2019.

Websites: and

Description: We are seeking a motivated graduate student to study trophic transport of contaminants in both aquatic and 0terrestrial systems. The work will take place within stream systems on the US Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken County, SC. The primary field site consists of a tributary within the Lower Three Runs system that received effluent from a reactor in the 1950’s and 60’s. Preliminary data suggest that areas within the floodplain contain relatively
high levels of contamination and a need to assess concentrations in flora and fauna from both the terrestrial and aquatic food webs associated with the stream system and adjacent uplands. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone looking to gain experience conducting fieldwork with plants, invertebrates and/or vertebrates and to learn trapping techniques for both aquatic and terrestrial animals. The student will be expected to publish results in a peer review manuscript and will also be generating important data for stakeholders. Opportunities exist to ask questions related to food web connections across terrestrial-aquatic boundaries and the impacts of weather events on contaminant movement through ecosystems.

This is a joint project between the Lance Lab ( at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) and Capps Lab ( at the Odum School of Ecology and SREL. The SREL is a remote unit of the University of Georgia located on the Savannah River Site, approximately 2.5 hrs away from the UGA main campus. The successful applicant may be enrolled in UGA’s Odum School of Ecology ( with Dr.’s Lance and Capps serving as co-advisors. The student would complete two semesters of coursework on UGA main campus but otherwise be based at SREL. The selected student will also be expected to publish the work as peer-reviewed manuscripts, with manuscripts in “submission-ready” form prior to graduation.

Applicants should submit their CV, contact information for at least three professional references, and a one-page letter describing their previous educational and research experience, research interests, and professional goals as they relate to this position to both Dr. Stacey Lance ( and Dr. Krista Capps ( Please put “Stream assistantship” in subject line of email. Submissions will be considered as they are received, but are due no later than 1November 2019.

Qualifications: Minimum qualifications include a B.S. degree in ecology, the biological sciences, environmental sciences, or related discipline. Preferred qualifications include previous field and/or laboratory experience, prior experience conducting independent research, and demonstrated writing skills and the ability to work well in a team. A positive attitude, strong work ethic, and good communications skills are all a must.

Contact person: Drs. Stacey Lance and Krista Capps

Contact email: and