Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Masters/PhD position studying post-fire soil biogeochemistry and microbial ecology in managed and unmanaged forest landscapes 

The Seyfried lab is seeking a masters or PhD candidate to join the lab in Fall 2024 at Oregon State University. Research in this lab broadly addresses belowground mechanisms driving carbon and nutrient cycling in managed and unmanaged forest ecosystems. We aim to connect landscape-scale processes to mechanisms at the local scale by investigating interactions between soil chemical and physical properties and plant and fungal communities. We use this general approach in natural systems to understand the impact of climate change and the potential for soil carbon loss under new climate scenarios, and in managed and restored systems to aid in development of mitigation strategies. Currently, there are numerous important opportunities to study post fire systems on the western side of the Oregon cascades to better understand how these systems are responding to novel fire regimes and how forests can be managed to most effectively promote tree regeneration and ecosystem health. This position will provide a student the opportunity to develop a research project guided by their specific interests within the broader goals of the lab group.  

The Seyfried lab is brand new and seeking motivated students who are excited to work as a team to develop research projects in the field of soil biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. Over the course of their degree, students will gain experience conducting field work in forested systems, developing and implementing lab methods, carrying out statistical analyses, and communicating scientific findings through public speaking and professional writing.  

Minimum qualifications 

  • B.S. degree in environmental science, forestry, ecology or a closely related field 
  • detail oriented with strong time- and project-management skills 
  • evidence of strong written and oral communication skills 
  • ability to work long hours in all types of weather and field conditions 

Preferred qualifications 

  • demonstrated experience conducting field research related to soil biogeochemistry or microbial ecology 
  • evidence of completing independent research (e.g., undergraduate thesis, peer-reviewed publication) 
  • experience working in lab settings 
  • experience conducting statistical data analysis 

Application Instructions: 

Applicants must submit a single PDF that contains all of the following elements. 

  • a cover letter that provides evidence of the applicant’s qualifications for the position, and describes how a graduate degree fits into the candidate’s long-term career goals,  
  • a full-length curriculum vitae or resume 
  • an official copy of the applicant’s academic transcript(s), and 
  • the names, email, telephone, and mailing address of 3 professional references. 

Email this document to Dr. Georgia Seyfried (georgia.seyfried@oregonstate.edu). Please reach out with questions about this position. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and positions will remain open until suitable candidates have been selected.