Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

MS or PhD Graduate Assistantship in Forest Nutrient Cycling 

Ruth Yanai is seeking new graduate students (MS or PhD) to participate in a large collaborative project investigating forest ecology and nutrient cycling. The Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems (MELNHE) project has field sites located at Hubbard Brook, Jeffers Brook, and Bartlett Experimental Forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Since 2011, thirteen stands have received full-factorial N x P treatments annually in 0.25-ha plots, with seven stands also including plots treated with CaSiO2. 
 
Previous students in the MELNHE project have studied tree diameter growth, leaf production by species, foliar nutrient resorption, soil respiration, soil nutrient availability, soil enzymes, litter decomposition, beech bark disease, mycorrhizae, and snail and arthropod communities. We are in the early stages of a series of linked projects studying carbon and nutrient dynamics and microbial communities involved in decomposition of leaves, wood, fine roots, and fungal hyphal necromass; candidates with experience in molecular ecology and bioinformatics would be especially qualified to work on that project. We welcome other ideas for research in the context of the MELNHE project. More information on the project can be found at http://www.esf.edu/melnhe
 
Applicants should be self-motivated, excited to work as part of a multi-investigator project, have laboratory and field experience, and be comfortable living and working in a group setting. A field crew blog from previous years is available at https://shoestringproject.wordpress.com/
 
Ideally, new students join us at the start of the summer field season at the beginning of June, so as to become familiar with the field sites and our research activities before starting classes in late August.  
 
Funding will consist of a combination of research and teaching assistantships. A stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a summer position with the field crew in New Hampshire will be provided. Prospective students may apply to the Department of Sustainable Resources Management or the Graduate Program in Environmental Science, both at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. 
 
Communicating with students is part of our selection process. Students are encouraged to review MELNHE data to begin thinking about how they might contribute to the project. Prospective students should begin that conversation by requesting the password for MELNHE project materials from Mary Hagemann at forestecology@esf.edu.  
 
Thanks! 
Mary Hagemann