Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD Position in Stuart Ludsin’s Lab at Ohio State University (Columbus, OH, USA) – Lake Erie Walleye 

Research opportunities: Dr. Stuart Ludsin (u.osu.edu/ludsinlab) has an opening available for a Ph.D. student to begin during summer or autumn 2024. The student would work closely with Dr. Ludsin and state, provincial, and federal agency collaborators to assess how removal of a dam in the Sandusky River (OH), which is an important Walleye spawning tributary, has influenced spawner movement behavior and relative contributions of recruits from this spawning stock to Lake Erie’s open-lake population and its recreational and commercial fisheries. Changes in spawner movements will be assessed by comparing acoustic telemetry data collected before dam removal with new telemetry data collected as part of this study. Changes in the relative contributions of recruits from the Sandusky River spawning stock to Lake Erie’s open-lake population and fisheries will be quantified using otolith microchemistry; we will use laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-I CPMS) to quantify trace metals (especially strontium, which can clearly distinguish individuals produced in the Sandusky River from other spawning areas) in the core of archived otoliths and those collected as part of this project (5 years before vs. 5 years after dam removal). An amazing collection of otoliths exists from both fishery-independent (gillnet and bottom trawl) and fishery-dependent (recreational and commercial) assessment surveys made in Lake Erie’s western, central, and eastern basins. The opportunity to design a field-, lab-, and modeling-based project exists, with funds existing to support technical help, meeting travel, and computing needs. 

Location: The successful candidate will join a dynamic, interactive group of students, post-docs, and faculty at The Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (ael.osu.edu) within the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (eeob.osu.edu). 

Qualifications: Dr. Ludsin is seeking someone who is creative, curious, motivated, and capable of working effectively both independently and in collaborative groups. A M.S. degree in biology, ecology, fisheries, general aquatic sciences, biostatistics, or a related field is required. Strong communication (written and oral), quantitative, and people-management skills are essential, as is a desire to learn. 

Stipend: ~$2,500/month plus full tuition waiver and health benefits. Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) support exists (3.5 years in total), with additional Graduate Teaching Assistantship support available. Opportunities to secure additional GRA and Fellowship support will exist as well, if needed.  

Start date: Summer or fall 2024, depending on the student’s desire. 

How to apply: If interested in the position, email Dr. Stuart Ludsin (apps.AEL@gmail.com): 1) a 1-2 page letter of interest that describes your educational and research background, as well as your research interests and career goals; 2) a curriculum vitae (CV); 3) unofficial copies of your college/graduate school transcripts; 4) contact information for at least 3 professional references; 5) your GRE scores if so desired (they are not required); and if applicable, 6) your TOEFL/TSE scores. Please put “Lake Erie Walleye PhD Position” in the subject line of your email. EEOB will start reviewing applications on Nov. 15 to identify students eligible to compete for University and College Fellowships (gradsch.osu.edu/faculty-and-staff/fellowship-program); however, applications sent after this date will be considered until a suitable candidate is found. 

Additional information: For additional information about application procedures and requirements, visit eeob.osu.edu/grad/program-admissions. For more information about the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory or Dr. Ludsin, please visit the websites above or contact me at apps.AEL@gmail.com

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Stuart A. Ludsin (he, him, his) 
Professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology 

Director, Fish Management in Ohio Partnership (with Ohio Division of Wildlife) 

Co-Director, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory 

President, Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society 

 
Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, 222 Research Center, 1314 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212 

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology 
614-795-7044 Mobile / 614-292-1613 Office / 614-292-0181 Fax 
ludsin.1@osu.eduEmail / http://ael.osu.edu & http://www.ludsinlab.com/ Web