We are seeking a highly qualified and motivated PhD student to complete a NSF-funded project addressing the relative importance of management, climate, disturbance, and edaphic factors in determining change in forest ecosystem composition, structure, and function at a macrosystem scale. The assistantship includes an RA stipend and tuition waiver for three years, with additional years covered through teaching assistantship. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Christy Rollinson (Morton Arboretum) and interact with an interdisciplinary team from Boston University, University of Wisconsin, Montana State University, University of Florida, and Colorado State University. The student will use process models to evaluate the importance of various extrinsic factors in shaping forest dynamics and quantify linkages among possible drivers (climate, edaphic conditions, management, and disturbance) and outputs (forest composition and structure, biomass pools, C, water, nutrient, and energy fluxes).
It is expected that prospective graduate students will develop their own research plans and goals within the parameters of the project, and therefore should be self-motivated and independent. Students should have demonstrated experience in statistics and modeling, as well as a background forest ecology, geography, or environmental science. A solid working knowledge of R and/or Python is required, and those with strong quantitative skills will be given preference. The student will be expected to use the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2), Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data and related geo-spatial climate and soil data. Qualifications include a BS in biology, forestry, ecology, environmental science, geography, statistics, or a closely related field.
To be eligible, students must meet the graduate admission requirements of the University of Alabama: an undergraduate GPA > 3.0 overall, and 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program or 3.0 for a completed graduate degree program. If interested, email a short summary of your research interests, an unofficial transcript from undergraduate (and post-graduate, if applicable) work, as well as a CV to Dr. Christina Staudhammer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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