PhD opportunities: movement, spatial & trophic ecology of recreational fisheries @ FIU, Miami, FL

Florida International University
Miami, FL
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Competitive support for students will be a combination of research & teaching assistantships
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
About the positions: We seek motivated students with a passion for coastal ecology, fish/fisheries ecology, spatial ecology, food web and/or movement ecology. Research will focus on how fish and recreational fisheries track resources and hydroclimatic variation across coastal seascapes, and on the implications of these responses for fisheries sustainability and ecosystem function, and to pressing water resource and climate challenges. Studies will use multiple approaches, including animal tracking, biomarkers (stable isotopes, otolith microchemistry), habitat mapping techniques (GIS, remote sensing) and local angler knowledge to examine how coastal fisheries respond to disturbance and spatial heterogeneity. For example, ongoing projects focus on: - Variation in trophic structure and consumer-mediated food web coupling in the Everglades (NSF Long Term Ecological Research-funded) - E-scapes: Integrating seagrass seascape structure and energetic resources to quantify fish movement in Florida Bay (National Park Service-funded) - Seagrass seascape stability in Biscayne Bay in relation to water quality & consequences for food webs (EPA funded): - Effects of contaminants (i.e., pharmaceuticals) on food webs & recreational fisheries throughout South Florida (EPA/Bonefish and Tarpon Trust funded) - Designing alternative assessment methods (e.g., local angler knowledge) for recreational fisheries quality in South Florida (National Park Service/FWC/BTT funded) About our lab: We are an energetic team of ecologists interested in understanding how fishes and recreational fisheries respond to human and natural disturbance, how these effects permeate through multiple ecological scales (from individual behavior to ecosystem function and human dimensions), and on the impact of disturbance on spatial processes (i.e., fish movement/foraging and their interactions with seascape reconfiguration). Our work expands across multiple aquatic and coastal ecosystems in South Florida and the Caribbean. Our lab is led by Dr. Jenn Rehage, fish ecologist, and Dr. Rolando Santos, seascape ecologist. Our approach to tackling fish research focuses on both understanding process and pattern, and we thrive in conducting studies that blend these to inform management, conservation, and restoration efforts in partnership with stakeholders to coproduce science that is both fundamental and actionable. We are part of a highly collaborative South Florida research community, composed of scientists, and federal, state and private partners, all with the shared goal of understanding and forecasting coastal ecosystem responses to the interaction of hydrological, climatic and urban stressors (see, and About our university: FIU is a R1 public research university (Doctoral universities – highest research activity), and member of the State University System of Florida located in Miami, with a highly diverse and vibrant student community. FIU programs are ranked in the top 50 among U.S public universities, including our Environment and Ecology Program. Our multiple campuses serve over 54,000 students, making FIU among the top 10 largest universities in the nation, and the largest majority-minority serving institution in the US- ranked No. 1 for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students. The Institute of Environment ( is a FIU preeminent program, whose mission is to, in collaboration with local and international partners, provide data-driven solutions to society's greatest and most urgent challenges.
Desired skills: The ideal candidate has a passion and experience in fish ecology, fisheries and/or spatial ecology, excellent writing and quantitative skills, previous fish/fisheries/coastal ecology field experience, advanced R and GIS statistical modeling skills, and an interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and stakeholder partnerships (e.g., with resource managers, recreational anglers and fishing guides). Boating and angling experience, previous research, coding and publication experience are desired. To apply: Please contact Dr. Jenn Rehage and Dr. Rolando Santos at and . In your email, please attach a cover letter telling us about yourself (research interests, experience, and fit to our lab) and a CV detailing your academic/professional experience and other supporting information (training certificates, GPAs, GRE scores, academic record, publications/presentations). Please use ‘PhD applicant 2022 + your name’ as the subject line in your email. We advise students through the Biology Dept (Santos-deadline is January 5, 2022, and the Earth and Environment department (Rehage-deadline is February 1, 2022; Competitive support for students will be a combination of research & teaching assistantships. Note that the GRE requirement is waived for Fall 2022 due to Covid.
Contact Person
Dr. Jenn Rehage and Dr. Rolando Santos
Contact eMail
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