PhD or MS Assistantship in Freshwater Mussell ...

PhD or MS Assistantship in Freshwater Mussel Histopathology and Conservation

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0321

Project and Responsibilities: Support is available for a student to pursue a PhD or MS degree in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. The student will be funded through a US Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored project to study freshwater mussel declines in the Clinch and North Fork Holston Rivers using histological evaluations of vital organ tissues. The study is part of a larger collaborative effort guided by the The Nature Conservancy and other organizations to identify specific stressors responsible for the biological decline of globally rare freshwater mussels in the Appalachians.

The incumbent will assess the health of mussels by quantitatively evaluating organ tissues, including digestive glands, gills, kidneys, and gonads of caged adult mussels held at sites in the Clinch River and of sub-adult mussels held in laboratory experimental settings in water recirculating tank systems and mesocosms. The incumbent will help with recruitment and supervision of field and laboratory crew, manage and analyze data, prepare reports and manuscripts, present research at professional meetings, mentor undergraduates and help with other projects in the lab, and complete coursework pursuant to a PhD or MS degree. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Jess Jones and Dr. Bill Henley.

Required qualifications: BS and / or MS in Fisheries, Ecology, Aquatic Ecotoxicology, Conservation Biology or a closely related discipline; demonstrated experience in conducting laboratory experiments, histology, fieldwork in streams, mussel sampling techniques and identification; excellent technical writing ability as demonstrated by publication of peer-reviewed journal articles and preparation of project reports; excellent public speaking skills; strong background
in experimental design and statistical analysis.

Stipend: $ 19,000 - $ 21,000 / year plus tuition and student health benefits
Closing date: July 15, 2011
Starting date: August 15, 2011 or earlier
Contact: Email letter of interest, resume, names of three references,
GRE scores, and unofficial transcripts to: Dr. Jess Jones, Department
of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute &
State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0321; Phone: 540-231-2266;
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it target=_blank> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Selected applicant will need to apply to
the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.
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