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The Allen Lab at the University of Oklahoma ( is recruiting graduate students in the lab to start in Fall 2021! Funding is available for two positions focused on the community and food web ecology of benthic macroinvertebrates in non-perennial streams.

One position will be with the Aquatic Intermittency effects on Microbiomes in Streams (AIMS), a collaborative EPSCoR project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project’s aim is to quantify and predict how drying in stream networks impacts downstream water quality in order to better inform policy and management in Mountain West, Great Plains, and Southeastern Forest ecosystems. This graduate position is one of 11 AIMS graduate positions across seven different institutions. All AIMS graduate students will take a cross-institutional Team Science and Collaboration course in their first year, receive support for instructor training through The Carpentries Foundation, have opportunities to mentor undergraduate research projects, and will work with an amazing team of scientists from University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Idaho State University, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, and Haskell Indian Nations University. The University of Oklahoma research team will focus on stream benthic invertebrates as bioindicators of water quality using DNA metabarcoding methods, and you can read more about the graduate student positions involved in the project here.

The other position will be associated StreamCLIMES, a research project funded by the National Science Foundation that seeks to understand how drying affects stream ecosystems in different climates. This research project integrates field-based stream ecology and hydrology, hydrologic modeling, and spatial ecological modeling. It includes collaborators from the University of California Berkeley, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, and Virginia Tech. The StreamCLIMES student will work primarily on the empirical component of the project at field sites in Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. We are looking for a student who is interested in field research, benthic macroinvertebrates, stable isotopes, and food webs in non-perennial streams in the Great Plains.

Finally, students in both positions will have opportunities to participate in and collaborate with the Dry Rivers Research Coordination Network. The Dry Rivers RCN is a network of over 40 ecologists and hydrologists who study non-perennial streams, a diverse group of scientists based in the US, Europe, and Australia. The Dry Rivers RCN will be organizing and hosting a series of in-person workshops in 2021 and beyond, once it is safe enough to travel and gather in large groups again.

Both of the positions will be funded by a combination of research and teaching assistantships for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The fellowship includes a full tuition waiver and health insurance, and funding is available for regular travel to scientific conferences. Students from underrepresented groups may be eligible for a Louise Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship through the University of Oklahoma Graduate College (, a program which we have had previous success recruiting students into. The student’s home department would be the Department of Biology (

If you are interested, contact Dr. Daniel Allen ( via an email that includes your CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3-5 references. GRE scores will not be required as part of the application process for this position. Review of candidates will begin on November 1, 2020 to identify top applicants, though inquiries beyond this date will continue to be reviewed. Prospective students will be required to apply through the OU Graduate College with applications due December 1, 2020. More information on the application process into the Biology Graduate Program can be found here: