PhD Opportunity at SUNY ESF: West Nile Virus and Ruffed Grouse in New York

Syracuse, NY
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
4 years of competitive funding
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A collaborative group of researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is seeking PhD applicants to use molecular, ecological, and physiological tools to investigate the relationship among West Nile Virus (WNV), its mosquito vectors, and ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) population persistence in New York. The research team is focused on the intersection of vector biology, physiology, disease ecology, and wildlife ecology (Downs lab; Leydet Lab; Cohen lab; Teale Lab The successful applicant will characterize habitat and monitor for grouse occupancy, mosquito abundance, and vector composition. The student will use molecular techniques and morphological characteristics of mosquitoes to quantify WNV vector species composition and WNV prevalence in vectors. Additionally, the student will use sound recordings to quantify the presence of grouse and quantify grouse physiological condition from feathers. The aim is to understand the influence of WNV on habitat suitability for grouse. This investigation will integrate into ongoing studies of grouse abundance and habitat suitability in New York, and the results will inform grouse management. The successful applicant will have an opportunity to work with agencies from New York State. Term of Position: We are seeking an applicant to begin August 2022 and have support for up to 4 years. The student will be supported on a teaching assistantship for two years and a research assistantship for two years.
Required Qualifications: Experience in lab work, including DNA/RNA extraction, PCR/qPCR, DNA sequencing, and sequence analysis. Interest and experience in disease ecology, wildlife physiology, or vector biology. Strong organization, quantitative, and communication skills. Preferred Qualifications: Strong background in Animal Physiology or Molecular Ecology. Experience with managing large data sets, entomology, and Program R. A strong record of academic and research achievements. An MS in Wildlife Ecology, Physiology, Entomology Molecular Ecology, Ecology, or closely related field is strongly desired. For more information, please email Dr. Cynthia Downs ( Application Deadline: Although applications will be accepted until the position is filled, candidates should submit application materials by January 3, 2022 to assure optimal consideration. Send the following to CV, statement of research goals, copy of transcripts (unofficial is fine), and copy of GRE scores (unofficial is fine). Documents should be submitted as a single PDF named:_WNV.pdf (e.g., Downs_WNV.pdf). The email should contain the subject line "WNV and grouse." SUNY-ESF is an equal opportunity, equal access academic institution that embraces diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Contact Person
Cynthia Downs
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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