PhD Graduate Research Assistantships in Landscape and Ecosystem Ecology

Two Ph.D. research assistantships are available in the lab of Jennifer
Fraterrigo (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). For more information on
research in the Fraterrigo lab, please visit:

One position will focus on species distribution modeling, working with
landscape ecologists and economists on a NSF-funded project to develop,
test, and apply tools for managing conservation risk associated with climate
uncertainty. The successful student will: (1) help to construct spatial
datasets for spatial portfolio analysis, which aims to allocate conservation
investments between different parts of a conservation planning area to
reduce future conservation risk from climate change by spreading
conservation lands strategically between multiple areas; and (2) perform
research to address how non-climate factors (e.g., land use, geomorphic
factors, dispersal) affect species distributions. The ideal candidate will
possess a Master’s degree by the starting date and prior research experience
and/or demonstrated competency in spatial analysis, statistical modeling,
and database management. Experience with R and spatial ecological modeling
is also desirable. Strong writing skills, the ability to communicate
effectively, and the desire to work in a team are essential.

Another position will focus on understanding plant-soil interactions and
their effects on carbon cycling in relation to changing moisture and
nutrient regimes. Desirable qualifications include experience measuring
microbially mediated processes, excellent written and oral communication
skills, basic knowledge of quantitative methods in ecological research, and
an interest in field based research. Applicants should have a GPA of at
least 3.25 and satisfactory GRE scores (verbal/quantitative: >70%,
analytical writing= 4.0). Applicants with a Master’s Degree in ecology,
botany, forestry, or related field are preferred.

Each assistantship will have a duration of 5 years starting in August 2015
and includes a stipend of $21,000 per annum, fringe benefits and tuition waiver.

Consideration of applications begins immediately. Please email the following
to Jennifer Fraterrigo ( (1) a cover letter describing
your research interests, goals and relevant experience, (2) a complete CV,
and (3) unofficial college transcripts and GRE percentiles. Suitable
candidates will be required to apply to the graduate program within the
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
( or the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and
Conservation Biology ( by Jan. 1, 2015.