PhD position in Reproductive Physiology of Catfish – Alabama

Auburn University, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences
Auburn Alabama, USA
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$19,000 + fringe benefits for 4 years
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A PhD graduate student position is available at Auburn University (start date: Jan 2021). The student will be hosted by the Aquatic Reproductive Physiology lab (P.I. Dr. Ian Anthony Ernest Butts; in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences (SFAAS). In terms of research, our labs long-term objectives are to support the development of sustainable aquaculture, fisheries management, and conservation biology. To accomplish this, we take an interdisciplinary approach to test hypotheses in reproductive biology and reproductive physiology of aquatic organisms, with the ultimate goal of understanding and controlling processes that impact gamete quality and offspring performance (egg to first-feeding larval stage). Responsibilities and tasks: The catfish industry (largest food-fish industry in USA) has been challenged by international competitors, rising feed, and fuel costs. Management strategies are being implemented by farmers to deal with these issues. Another issue evolves around viable and inconsistent production of hybrid catfish (accounts for greater than 50% of catfish harvest) fry. Thus, the current project is a unique opportunity to unravel physiological and molecular mechanisms of sperm function for optimizing in vitro fertilization and early offspring production. This PhD project will involve experimental laboratory studies (~80%) and field work (~20%) in collaboration with Dr. Rex Dunham (SFAAS) and Dr. Luke Roy (SFAAS). Specifically, projects may focus on: (1) Cellular organization of the testis and spermatogenesis; (2) physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating sperm form and function; and (3) standardization of hybrid catfish hatchery techniques. Overall, the PhD will be expected to conduct broad research followed by the writing of a detailed dissertation.
We are looking for a motivated candidate who has: 1. MSc degree in biology or a similar degree 2. Knowledge of aquaculture and fish physiology 3. Proven ability to carry out goal-oriented work and fluent with data management systems (i.e. Excel, Word, statistical analysis) 4. Lab competence in molecular biology (e.g. DNA/RNA extraction, gene expression) and/or physiology (e.g. flow cytometry, molecular probes) would be considered an asset - please clarify your experiences in the “motivating letter” 5. Bioinformatic experience (programming in R, Unix) is also an asset, but can be learned within the program 6. Practical husbandry experiences with aquatic organisms will be an asset 7. Good co-operation ability 8. Ability to obtain US driver’s license and vehicle, as our research station is off campus Application: Please submit your application no later than 10 August 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT. Applications must be e-mailed to as “one” pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. The file must only include: A. Cover letter motivating the application (please include your background, interests, goals - 1 to 2 pages) B. Curriculum vitae with contact information (e-mail and phone numbers) for three referees C. Unofficial transcripts and GRE scores (refer to: NOTE: This graduate appointment is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in the PhD program within the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences (SFAAS). For information about our program please see:
Contact Person
Ian A.E. Butts
Contact eMail
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