MS assistantship in stream fish ecology
Start date: January 2023
Salary: $24,000/year for two years
A MS research/teaching assistantship is available in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri in Columbia starting in Spring 2023. The student will be advised by Dr. Allison Pease (https://cafnr.missouri.edu/person/allison-pease/) and will study influences of flow variation on stream fish assemblages in central Missouri. The MS student will collect field data over several months, work with fish and invertebrate specimens in the laboratory, analyze data, present research at professional conferences, and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals.
The student is also expected to serve as a part-time teaching assistant for Ichthyology. The incoming student will ideally begin in January 2023 with field data collection starting in April 2023. In addition to the stipend, medical insurance and a tuition waiver will be provided. Applications
will be reviewed beginning 21 October. Candidates will be contacted in late October for interviews.
• BS degree in ecology, fisheries science, natural resources, or related field
• Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
• Completion of an undergraduate ichthyology course
• Experience collecting and identifying fishes
• Strong written and verbal communication skills
To apply, send a letter of interest, current CV, contact information for three references, and unofficial transcripts via email to Dr. Allison Pease, [email protected] For more information on graduate studies at the School of Natural Resources, see https://snr.missouri.edu/graduate-studies
MS Assistantship Estimating Age, Growth, and Mortality in a Tributary-Spawning Population of Shovelnose Sturgeon Using a Long-term Mark-Recapture Dataset
Agency/location: This position will be located in the Iowa Cooperative Fish/Wildlife Research Unit and Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. The student will be advised by Dr. Michael Moore
Responsibilities: We seek a M.S. student to help determine utilize a long-term mark-recapture dataset of Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Cedar River to 1) Develop incremental growth models to estimate age-specific growth rates and 2) Develop new mark-recapture models to estimate annual survival rates.
The Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) is the only acipenserid species still harvested commercially for roe (caviar) in North America. Populations exist in Iowa’s large rivers including both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and tributaries such as the Cedar, Des Moines, and Iowa rivers. Despite their broad distribution in Iowa’s rivers, Shovelnose Sturgeon are listed as a species of greatest conservation need in Iowa’s State Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2015) due to threats of habitat degradation and overexploitation. Age estimates have primarily been obtained by counting annual growth rings (annuli) on fin ray sections, but subsequent validation studies for known-age fish indicate low accuracy of ages estimated from calcified structures. Underestimates of age of older individuals may severely bias estimates of vital rates with potentially large implications in population response to harvest. Biologists with Iowa DNR have conducted annual sampling of Shovelnose Sturgeon at a spawning site at Palisades-Kepler State Park in the Cedar River since 2006 resulting in over 20,000 tagged fish. Mark-recapture analyses have shown promise in estimating demographic parameters for long-lived fish that are difficult to age using traditional methods. The student will utilize this rich mark-recapture dataset as well as telemetry data to approach the two project objectives. The student will also assist the Iowa DNR in spring sampling of Shovelnose Sturgeon.
Qualifications: B.S. in fisheries, ecology, or related program, minimum GPA of 3.0 required. We are committed to valuing diverse identities experiences and skills. Preference will be given to candidates with interest in quantitative analyses of fish and wildlife populations to address management problems. Preferred candidates will have strong statistical capabilities, work-ethic, enthusiasm for learning, a growth mindset, and a desire to present/publish research results.
Stipend: 25,466/year. Half tuition and full health insurance will be covered by the project.
Closing date: When filled; application review will begin October 1, 2022 with an anticipated start date of January 1, 2023 contingent on timing of disbursement of funds. Willing to consider a May 2023 start for spring graduates.
Contact: To apply send an email with the subject line “Shovelnose Sturgeon Assistantship” that includes a cover letter identifying interest, resume, contact information for 2-3 references, a copy of unofficial transcripts, in one document to Michael Moore, [email protected]; (515)231-2202. Contact by email with any questions about the project or application process. More information about our research labs and graduate department are available HERE.
We especially encourage applicants from underrepresented or historically excluded groups to apply.