A M.S. assistantship is available beginning August 2021 through the Department of Biology at Murray State University. The student will work on a project studying how urban greening influences multiple taxonomic groups (birds, bats, and Arthropods) and potential effects of biodiversity changes on human health. The study is associated with a larger project called the Green Heart Project (https://greenheartlouisville.com/), which is a joint study being conducted by The Nature Conservancy and researchers at the University of Louisville. Our biodiversity component of the study has been occurring for two years and the successful applicant will continue this long-term monitoring effort.
The successful applicant will receive a $5,000-dollar scholarship per semester (for 2 years beginning fall 2021) to cover tuition and other living expenses, which includes opportunities for undergraduate mentoring, access to a professional development seminar series, travel support to scientific conferences, financial support for research projects, faculty and life coach mentorship, peer mentoring, support to participate in 4-day summer institute, and cohort curriculum on natural history collections and developing biodiversity research. The successful applicant will need to meet certain federal aid needs to receive this funding. Summer pay is pending funding but likely and ~$5,000. Additionally, with a competitive GPA and GRE scores, the student may qualify for a paid 2-year teaching assistantship ($11,500 per year). Free housing approximately 25 minutes from MSU is optional, pending availability.
Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, management, ecology, or a related discipline. Potential candidates should have the ability to or willingness to learn how to identify Kentucky birds aurally and visually, excellent written and oral communication skills, be self-motivated, work well independently and with a team, the ability to work long hours under challenging conditions, and interest in learning how to work with biodiversity data using programs such R. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
The students will be co-advised by Dr. Andrea Darracq (https://adarracq8.wixsite.com/mysite) and Dr. Howard Whiteman (https://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/hwhiteman/index.shtml). Send cover letter, CV, GRE scores, and unofficial transcripts to Dr. Andrea Darracq (firstname.lastname@example.org) by May 1st, 2021 (Note: Application will be considered on a rolling basis - so please apply as soon as possible). Please send a list of at least 3 references to contact as well.
Murray State University requirements for admission to the graduate program are GRE scores in the 50th percentile for the verbal and quantitative portions and a GPA of 3.0 of greater. To be competitive for a teaching assistantship, the student should exceed these expectations. Previous experience with wildlife-related field work is highly desired.