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M.S. Teaching Assistantship

Expiration Date: 

M.S. Teaching Assistantship – Life History of the Pontchartrain Painted Crayfish, Faxonius hobbsi, A Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Louisiana

A Teaching Assistantship is available beginning in the Fall 2023 semester for the Master of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology program at Nicholls State University in Dr. Chris Bonvillain’s Aquatic Ecology and Astacology Lab ( The Teaching Assistantship includes tuition and out of state fee waivers and stipend of $17,000/yr. For more information about the graduate program visit

Project Description

The successful applicant will conduct a two year field research project that will determine annual life history characteristics for the Pontchartrain Painted Crayfish Faxonius hobbsi, a species of greatest conservation need in Louisiana. Previous sample efforts have identified habitat requirements and stream locations for F. hobbsi but basic life history information is not present for the species. Data collected will be used to determine critical F. hobbsi life history characteristics including morphometrics, size-class structure, age structure, reproductive season, and growth rates. The results from this study will provide the first comprehensive life history information for F. hobbsi.

This is a field intense project that includes stream habitat assessments and multiple capture techniques including dip nets, 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 assistantship can begin in either June or by 9 August 2023 and the project is scheduled to begin immediately. The M.S. stipend is $17,000/year and includes tuition and out-of-state fee waivers.


Applicants must:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be able to tolerate harsh field conditions (cold, hot, humid, rain, bugs)
  • Have previous experience working in stream ecosystems
  • Have previous experience working with and identifying crayfish (highly desirable)

Admission requirements include:

  • B.S. degree in a life science curriculum
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Combined GRE (verbal + quantitative) of 300

Application procedure includes an online application and fee ( A cover letter, CV, official GRE scores, academic transcripts, and departmental application package (under admission requirements & application information) ( including three letters of recommendation (forms included in departmental application) can be sent to Dr. Bonvillain (

Deadline for applying is March 31, 2023. 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,