NIU Graduate Assistantships – Ph.D.

Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Two Ph.D. Graduate Student Assistantships are available in the Koop Lab at Northern Illinois University to conduct research aimed at understanding the ecological and evolutionary drivers of species invasions. Students will study the invasive freshwater faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata), which has invaded the Great Lakes region and Upper Mississippi River. The snail acts as a host to several species of parasitic trematodes, which can infect waterfowl, often causing high mortality. Ongoing projects with this system include assessing the invasion history of both the snail and trematode species, understanding the role of local adaptation in determining virulence across a large geographic landscape, and examining sublethal effects of trematode infections on waterfowl, specifically Lesser Scaup. This system is highly accessible and offers an incredible opportunity to explore diverse ecological and evolutionary questions related to epidemiology, behavior, genetics, and species interactions. To address these questions, we use an interdisciplinary approach of field-based ecological research, lab experiments, and population genomics. Students will have the choice to work on any number of ongoing projects in the lab in addition to developing their own projects and research interests.
M.S. in biology, wildlife, ecology, evolution, or environmental sciences preferred but not required. Experience in invertebrate biology, field biology, population genetics/genomics, and analytical software such as R, are especially encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work independently and as a team. Expected start date will be spring semester 2024 (January 15, 2024).
Contact Person
Jennifer Koop
Contact eMail
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