Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Ph.D. positions in coastal ecology at University of Virginia / VCR LTER

Full ad available at: https://castorani.evsc.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Ad-for-grad-student-2023.pdf 
 
The Castorani Lab at the University of Virginia is recruiting 1-2 Ph.D. students to study coastal ecology at the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research project (VCR LTER; https://vcrlter.virginia.edu/). The Virginia Coast Reserve is a temperate coastal lagoon with a 20-year legacy of seagrass and oyster reef restoration led by The Nature Conservancy and studied by researchers at UVA and beyond (https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/virginia/stories-in-virginia/vcr-marine-restoration/).  
 
Research in the Castorani Lab is diverse and focused on themes including spatial ecology, biodiversity, population dynamics, disturbance/recovery, and restoration. The student will conduct independent research at VCR LTER that may include field experiments, remote sensing, analysis of long-term data, and modeling. Students will be advised by professor Max Castorani (https://castorani.evsc.virginia.edu/) and join UVA’s Department of Environmental Sciences (https://evsc.as.virginia.edu/). Students will interface with a large community of VCR LTER scientists, as well as educators and restoration practitioners at The Nature Conservancy.  
 
Students will join the UVA Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences (https://evsc.as.virginia.edu/prospective-graduate-students), which offers interdisciplinary training and conducts research in ecology, hydrology, geology, and atmospheric science. Graduate students accepted into the program are typically supported through teaching and research assistantships that provide a competitive stipend, tuition, and health insurance.  
 
At the time of enrollment, highly qualified applicants will have an undergraduate or master’s degree in biology, ecology, oceanography, fisheries, or a related field. Ideal candidates will have strong interests in coastal ecology at the scale of populations, communities, ecosystems, or landscapes; experience in field ecology; and demonstrated quantitative skills, such as data analysis or scientific programming (or a strong motivation to acquire such skills).  
 
Those interested should send the following items, as a single PDF, to Dr. Max Castorani (castorani@virginia.edu): (1) a brief description of their background, career goals, motivations for pursuing a graduate degree, research ideas, and why they are specifically interested in joining the Castorani Lab; (2) a CV with academic and professional experience (including GPA); (3) contact information for 3 references; and (4) a writing sample, if available.  
 
The application deadline is January 15, 2024 for enrollment in Fall 2024. However, serious applicants should express their interest by email as soon as possible.