Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Ph.D. and M.S. research assistantships: Aquatic Ecology and Harmful Algal Blooms 

Auburn University, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences 

Auburn, Alabama USA 

Description: Three graduate research assistantships (Ph.D. (preferred) or M.S.) in aquatic ecology and harmful algal blooms are available in Alan Wilson’s lab at Auburn University (https://www.wilsonlab.com/).  We are an active and productive lab with current research projects that are funded by a variety of grants from USDA ARS, USDA NIFA, NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity, and USGS that leverage our field station that includes hundreds of aquaculture ponds and nearby recreational and drinking water reservoirs.  Here, we pursue basic and applied questions associated with understanding the ecological, evolutionary, and limnological mechanisms controlling the structure and function of freshwater plankton communities.  Harmful algal blooms are the foci for many of our projects.  My students are welcome to participate on existing projects, which include large-scale field experiments and monitoring, lab-based analytical analyses, modeling, and meta-analysis, but are strongly encouraged to develop their own projects  in addition to applying for external grants and fellowships, such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program.  There are numerous opportunities to work directly with important stakeholders, such as aquaculture farmers, water utilities, and natural resource managers. 

I am motivated to maintain a productive, diverse, and inclusive lab and encourage students from under-represented groups to consider joining us.  Moreover, lab members are strongly encouraged to develop outreach activities to broaden the impact of their research. 

Qualifications: Ideal candidates will be data driven, hard-working, honest, highly self-motivated, team-oriented, and excited about studying freshwater communities.  Prior coursework in ecology, limnology, and statistics, a strong interest in mentoring undergraduates and participating in outreach, and relevant research experiences (including analytical skills, such molecular, GC-MS, GC-FID, HPLC, ELISA) are desirable, but not required.  

Support: Competitive graduate research assistantships (starting for Ph.D. = $25k/yr and M.S. = $20k/yr) include 12-month stipend and full tuition waivers.  Highly qualified Ph.D. candidates will be considered for an AU Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship (http://graduate.auburn.edu/au-presidential-graduate-research-fellowships/) or AU Presidential Graduate Opportunity Fellowship (http://graduate.auburn.edu/prospective-students/presidential-graduate-opportunity-program/), which can last 3 years and include an annual stipend of at least $40,000.  Moreover, all students in the lab are well supported to conduct high quality research and are strongly encouraged and supported to share their research at scientific conferences. 

Start date: Flexible but summer 2024 would be ideal considering current projects.  

How to apply: Interested students are encouraged to submit their application materials (CV, GRE scores (if available), copies of transcripts, and contact information for three references) at https://forms.gle/WocXAMDtfSs5vWHm9 

Questions: email Alan Wilson (wilson@auburn.edu