This is a Louisiana Board of Regents funded project to examine the relationship between the input of leaf litter on the colonization of ponds and streams by aquatic insects and treefrogs. Projects include the use of pond mescosms and leaf packs in ponds and streams to act as colonization and oviposition sites. Leaf litter treatments will include mixtures of leaves, as a strong focus of the project will be on biodiversity. There may be opportunities to ask additional ecological questions using data collected on particular species of insects or frogs, and multiple experiments are planned for this project, so the selected student will have the freedom to choose which they find most interesting for their thesis. tuition waiver, but not for university fees.
To apply, please email an application as a single pdf including a cover letter explaining your interest in the project and long-term goals, a CV (including GPA, GRE scores, and relevant coursework), and the names and contact information for 3 references. Submit applications by email by May 10, 2021.
For more information, email Dr. Julia Earl (email@example.com) or check out her website https://sites.google.com/site/juliaeearl/.
Desirable skills for this position include: aquatic insect identification, use of a dichotomous key, tree identification, use of water quality meters, an understanding of biodiversity metrics, and coding in R, though all of these can be learned during graduate school. The student needs to be detail-oriented and have a good attitude and patience, as weighing out leaves and sorting and identifying insects can be tedious. Other student responsibilities include entering and analyzing data, presenting results at scientific meetings, and writing scientific manuscripts. Students need to have a B.S. in Biology, Wildlife, Environmental Science, or other related field by the start date.