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MS/PhD Assistantship in Freshwater/Invasion Ecology

Expiration Date: 

MS/PhD Assistantship in Freshwater/Invasion Ecology in the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology at the University of Texas at San Antonio Principal Investigators: Drs. Matthew Troia and Jennifer Smith

Start date: January 2021

Description: The successful applicant will participate in a 3-year study to examine the ecological drivers of non-native crayfish distributions and population dynamics, and quantify potential negative interactions with Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCNs) in the Colorado River basin in New Mexico and Arizona. Specific objectives are to: (1) develop and implement a geographically expansive and environmentally comprehensive survey of crayfish populations in the Gila and Little Colorado River basins, (2) identify environmental correlates of detection, occupancy, colonization, and extinction of crayfish; (3) map presence-absence of crayfish the Gila and Little Colorado River basins; and (4) assess the potential for co-occurrence patterns and interactions between crayfish and SGCNs. The successful applicant will develop a thesis/dissertation based on one or more of these objectives. The project will include three field seasons, one in each year of the study, the first of which will begin in the summer of 2021. The rest of the year, the successful applicant will be based at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The project is funded via the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. Up to three years of funding are available for travel and research costs, a stipend ($1500/month), and full tuition waiver.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources, or related field, and minimum GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale). The successful candidate must have strong written and verbal communication, ability to work independently and as part of a research team, and the ability to work in challenging field conditions (hot desert weather, wading in rivers) for extended durations (up to 8 weeks).

Preferred Qualifications: Demonstrated experience of working with different stakeholders such as private landowners and agency personnel, demonstrated leadership skills, experience with Program R and GIS, and aspirations to publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Apply: Please submit an application packet as a single PDF-formatted document including: (1) one- page letter of interest, (2) CV or resume, (3) unofficial undergraduate/graduate transcripts, and (4) contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants from underrepresented groups in STEM are particularly encouraged to apply.

About UTSA: UTSA is a large urban university located on the scenic north side of San Antonio, Texas. The Department of Environmental Science and Ecology offers an MS degree in Environmental Science and a PhD degree in Environmental Science and Engineering.

EO/AA Statement: As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, it is the policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio to promote and ensure equal employment opportunity for all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. The University is committed to the Affirmative Action Program in compliance with all government requirements to ensure nondiscrimination. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The UTSA campus is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Questions? Please send questions about the position to Dr. Matthew Troia ( or Dr. Jennifer Smith (