Header image

Assistantships Available

PhD Assistantship in Fisheries Population Dynamics and Conservation

One PhD Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantship is available as soon as a suitable candidate is found in fisheries population dynamics and conservation. Graduate research will focus on analyzing large databases to detect spatial issues and incorporating spatial dynamics into population dynamics and stock assessment. The most qualified applicant will have a strong quantitative background, strong interest in fisheries population dynamics and simulation modeling. Duties will include proposal writing, managing and analyzing large datasets, mentoring undergraduate students, coordinating with other investigators, and preparing reports and presentations for scientific audiences. Applicants must have an MS in Fisheries, Biology, or similar area for entrance into the program.

Stipend: The assistantship covers tuition, student health benefits and a competitive stipend (approximately $22,000-$24,000/year). Position is grant-funded but renewable yearly based on the availability of funding and satisfactory performance.

Closing Date: As soon as a suitable candidate is found. Review begins immediately.

Expected Starting Date: Summer or fall 2016.

Interested applicants should submit the following; letter of interest, three references, unofficial transcripts, and CV to: Dr. Yan Jiao, yjiao@vt.edu (http://fishwild.vt.edu/faculty/jiao.htm; http://www.yanjiao.fishwild.vt.edu). Selected applicant will need to apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.

Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship: Ecology of Bats Post-White-nose Syndrome from an Urban to Rural Gradient

Agency: Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

Job Description: We are seeking a qualified and motivated individual interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife Conservation with a strong focus on urban ecology. This position is fully funded for three years, and will begin in May 2016, although a start date of January 2016 is possible. The student will be supported by a research assistantship with an annual stipend of ≥ $22,000 and a full tuition waver. Per department requirements, the student will be expected to serve as a teaching assistant for one semester during the doctoral program.

This project has a specific focus on post-White-nose Syndrome patterns in bat community in the National Capital Region across an urban to rural gradient from Rock Creek Park in city center to the wholly forested Appalachians, i.e., Catoctin Mountain Park, Harper's Ferry National Monument and the C&O Canal National Monument in western Maryland. The incumbent also will be expected to work collaboratively on other bat research projects in the mid-Atlantic on other national parks, national forests and Department of Defense facilities. The main objectives of this project are to assess post-disease patterns in bat activity and day-roosting ecology in the National Capital region and to compare these to data from the same sites 15 years ago. The incumbent will be responsible for development of secondary objectives and associated projects that will enhance the value-added nature of the work. The project will involve a mix of acoustic sampling, mist-netting, radio-tracking to day-roosts and winter hibernacula surveys.

Qualifications: Minimum qualifications include a M.S. in wildlife biology/ecology or related field, GPA of 3.4 or greater, and competitive GRE scores. Candidate should have a strong work ethic, ability to work independently, advanced problem solving skills, high motivation, and deep underlying interest in urban landscape ecology and urban wildlife biology. Experience working with bats is desirable.

Beneficial qualifications: Advanced geospatial and quantitative skills including experience conducting statistical analyses using scripted programs such as R. Database management experience and basic familiarity with SQL or strong willingness to learn.

To apply, send a single pdf document containing 1) cover letter, 2) CV, 3) transcripts (can be unofficial), 4) GRE scores, and 5) names, contact information, and short description of relationship, for 3 references simultaneously to Dr. W. Mark Ford (wmford@vt.edu) and Dr. Alexander Silvis (silvis@vt.edu). Please put "NCR bat application" in the subject line.

Graduate Assistantship on Bog Turtle Conservation Planning

A potential graduate position for a doctoral student may be available Fall 2015, contingent on funding.  The Ph.D. student would evaluate potential habitat for bog turtles in southwestern Virginia, and estimate changes over time in population size and growth rates using a previously developed GIS model and use a long-term mark-recapture database.  Major goals are to work closely with state agency personnel to develop a conservation plan based on trends in land use and human population growth and to improve our understanding of wetland size and connectivity required to maintain viable populations of bog turtles.

Qualifications: Successful applicants usually have an undergraduate GPA above 3.3 and GREs above 50th percentile.  Candidates for Ph.D. should have M.S. degree in Fisheries & Wildlife, Ecology, or related field, and have published in a peer-reviewed journal.  Experience with conservation planning, demographic analyses, occupancy modeling, wetland habitats, and GIS is desirable.

Anticipated starting date: August 2016

To apply: Applicants should submit a letter of in terest and a c.v. (including undergraduate and M.S. grade point average and GRE scores) as well as contact information for three references. Promising candidates will need to submit an official application to the graduate school at Virginia Tech (http://www.grads.vt.edu/).  Contact information:  Dr. Carola A. Haas, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences, Mail Code 0321, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, cahaas@vt.edu, 1-540-231-9269.  Please put “bog turtle grad position” in subject line of emails to Professor Haas.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.



Dana Keith
Assistant to Department Head
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM100, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-5573
Fax: (540) 231-7580


Dr. Sarah Karpanty 
Graduate Program Coordinator 

Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM150, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-4586
Fax: (540) 231-7580
Email: karpanty@vt.edu


Stephanie Lang, Director
The Advising Center
Cheatham Hall, RM138, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-5482
http://cnre.vt.edu/students Email: cnre_students@vt.edu