Ph.D. Student – Wildlife Trade and Amphibian Diseases
The Amphibian Disease Laboratory located in Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries and the Center for Wildlife Health at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville is seeking a highly-motivated student to pursue a doctoral degree in Natural Resources (Wildlife Health Concentration) starting August 2023. The student will work with a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team of scientists on NSF EEID project 2207922, “Socioeconomic and Epidemiological Drivers of Pathogen Dynamics in Wildlife Trade Networks.” The overarching goal of this project is to identify how socioeconomic decisions made by businesses and consumers drive pathogen dynamics in a wildlife trade network. The project will use a combination of socioeconomic surveys, facilitated discussions, pathogen surveillance, and controlled experiments to build a series of predictive models that can be used to guide policy and management decisions in wildlife trade. The U.S. pet amphibian trade network is the model system; the focus will be on three OIE-notifiable amphibian pathogens: Batrachochytrium dedrobatidis (Bd). B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), and ranavirus. This student will lead laboratory experiments to identify conditions in captivity and shipments that affect infection prevalence and load of these pathogens for commonly traded species.
Minimum qualifications: BS or BA in biological sciences or a related field and substantial research experience. The individual must be passionate about science, interested in pursuing a career in wildlife health or disease ecology, work effectively in teams, and be able to conduct research independently.
Preferred qualifications: MS or MA in biological sciences, DVM, or similar post-bachelor’s degree. Experience with conducting replicated experiments, amphibian husbandry, biosecurity protocols, microbiological techniques, DNA extractions, and qPCR. Exceptional candidates will have strong analytical skills and a record of presenting and publishing research.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter summarizing experience and professional interests, and a CV with at least three references, using the URL: https://tiny.utk.edu/UT.Trade.PhD. Review of applications will begin on 28 October 2022, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.
This position is a graduate research assistantship with a stipend range of $25,000 – $30,000 USD per year for up to four years, and includes health insurance and tuition waiver (excepting required university fees for students). Questions about the position can be directed to Dr. Matt Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Davis Carter (email@example.com).