University of Mississippi

Graduate assistantship in wetland biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling

We seek a master’s or Ph.D. graduate student interested in nitrogen cycling in managed wetland habitats. The candidate would join the graduate program in Biology at the University of Mississippi (UM). The position is part of a larger multi-disciplinary project examining how novel water management practices of fallow agricultural fields enhance migratory shorebird habitat while providing other ecosystem services, including excess nitrogen removal and reduced sediment runoff from agricultural fields. The position can start as soon as January 2023, with up to two years of stipend support through a research assistantship, with subsequent support through a teaching assistantship available as needed. During the Spring and Summer of 2023, the candidate will work closely with the USDA National Sedimentation Lab to assist with setting up and testing methods targeting several nitrogen cycling pathways (denitrification, N2O production, ANNAMOX, DNRA, and N fixation) using primarily Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS). In the following Fall and Winter, the candidate will conduct extensive fieldwork and laboratory incubations to characterize nitrogen cycling pathways in flooded agricultural soils across field sites experimentally managed for different timing and duration of flooding. Applicants interested in wetland biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling are especially encouraged to apply. Previous experience with MIMS would be highly valued but is not necessary. For a Ph.D. student, the project could potentially be expanded to include an examination of the roles of microbes in these nutrient-cycling processes. In addition to a full tuition waiver and stipend, the applicant will have access to significant instrumentation, guidance, and technical and field assistance from the Water Quality & Ecology Research Unit at USDA’s National Sedimentation Lab. The NSL is conveniently located 1 mile from the UM campus. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Jason Hoeksema (project PI) within the UM Department of Biology but will also work closely with Dr. Jason Taylor from the USDA Agricultural Research Service. To express interest in the position, please contact Drs. Hoeksema and Taylor by email, including a CV or resume as an attachment ([email protected], [email protected]).

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