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Funded Graduate Student Position in Plant Ecology

by Grace L. Schumaker on April 27, 2018

Funded Graduate Student Position in Plant Ecology

The Dovciak lab ( at the State University of
New York (SUNY ESF) is looking for a highly motivated graduate student (PhD
or MS) for a funded position to study vegetation dynamics of Long Island
Pine Barrens of New York State. The student is expected to study forest
plant communities and examine patterns of regeneration, recruitment, and
mortality for pitch pine and oaks on vegetation plots surveyed in 2005/2006.
The data and protocols from this survey are available for use. The position
will include (1) resurvey of the vegetation plots, (2) quantification of
changes in forest community and tree populations, and (3) building
statistical models to relate tree population processes to environmental
conditions (including canopy cover, understory vegetation, and soil

The position starts on August 20, 2018, but a later start (January 2019) may
be considered. The position is based at SUNY ESF in Syracuse
( and field work is based at Brookhaven National
Laboratory on Long Island. Collaborative partners include the Central Pine
Barrens Commission and the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation. The position will be supported by research (2 years) and
teaching assistantships (1-3 years) that cover a stipend, tuition, and
health benefits.

Additional collaborative research opportunities exist in our lab within an
NSF-funded project examining ecotone dynamics between deciduous and conifer
forests of northeastern United States.

Desired qualifications:
– MS or BS in plant or forest ecology, botany, or a related field
– GPA >3.5 and GRE scores >70% (lower may be acceptable with relevant
research experience)
– Basic vascular plant identification skills and familiarity with ecosystems
of the northeastern United States
– Excellent time management, interpersonal, and team/collaborative skills
– Ability to work long hours in potentially adverse field conditions over a
period of 2-3 months
– Interest in organizing and managing large data sets (e.g., in Excel or Access)
– Ability to use, or willingness to learn, advanced statistical methods and
packages (e.g., R)
– Driver’s license and an own car

To apply, send (1) cover letter summarizing your interests, educational
goals (MS, PhD), and qualifications, (2) CV, including GPA and GRE, (3)
transcripts (unofficial OK at this stage), and (4) contacts for three
references to Martin Dovciak (, ideally as a single pdf
file. Please use “Plant Ecology Research Assistantship” in email subject
line. Earlier inquiries are welcome. The review of the applications will
start on May 15 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.
Selected candidates will be asked to submit a full application (with
official transcripts, reference letters, and GRE reports) to SUNY ESF
( as soon as possible.

Info on Syracuse academic community/environment is here:

Info on Long Island Central Pine Barrens is here:

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