Graduate Research Assistant – Fisheries eDNA Metabarcoding – Illinois

Illinois Natural History Survey/Prairie Research Institute
Champaign, IL
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
50% Assistantship with Tuition Waiver
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Collaborative Ecological Genetics Laboratory at the Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking 1 MS student to conduct research quantifying fish communities in the Upper Midwest via genetic metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) samples. The student will be expected to develop, implement, and disseminate results of their fisheries-related eDNA metabarcoding research, with an emphasis on aquatic invasive fish species and threatened, endangered, and rare fishes. This research will include field work, comprised of conventional fish sampling using a variety of gears, eDNA sampling via water filtration, collection of ecological and environmental data, and laboratory work, including eDNA extraction, quantification, PCR, and library preparation, and analysis via bioinformatics pipelines. Finally, the student is expected to work collaboratively in a dynamic team setting.
B.S. in fisheries biology, ecology, natural resources, environmental sciences, or related fields is required. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license, be able to swim, have strong quantitative, computational, and analytical skills, have a competitive GPA (>3.0) and GRE scores, and demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a group. Applicants with a strong background in fisheries and aquatic ecology research, statistical modeling using R and GIS software, and familiarity with modern molecular genetic techniques and bioinformatics will be preferred. The prospective student must show good leadership and organizational skills and have strong self-motivation. The applicant should be available to prepared to start coursework in January 2021 at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (NRES program). Deadline to submit applications is September 01, 2020, however, applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified. Interested students should send a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Mark A Davis ( The successful applicant will be expected to enroll at the University of Illinois for the Spring 2020 semester.
Contact Person
Dr. Mark Davis
Contact eMail
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