PhD Research Assistantship
Forest Carbon Cycling in Response to Pine Beetle Infection
University of Utah, Dept. of Biology, Salt Lake City, UT

A funded position is available for a PhD student to work with an interdisciplinary team studying forest-atmosphere carbon exchange at a coniferous forest in Colorado.  The position is based in Utah, and will involve field work in Colorado at the Niwot Ridge AmeriFlux site.  This is part of a long-term study involving several research groups.  The current project is focused on how forest carbon cycling responds to natural and simulated mountain pine beetle infection over time.  The graduate student will have the opportunity to learn and use a wide variety of ecological and analytical techniques, including forest-atmosphere flux measurement methods, tunable diode laser spectroscopy, and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.  The project will involve field work in a beautiful mountain setting, combined with extensive training in analytical field and laboratory instrumentation, experimental design, data analysis, computer programming, ecological modeling, scientific writing, and teaching.

Requirements: 1) a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a field of earth system science (ecology, geology, geography, physics, chemistry, etc.), 2) innate curiosity about the natural world and how it works, 3) interest in learning and applying cutting-edge analytical techniques, and 4) strong motivation and ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

The student assistantship is based in the Biology department at the University of Utah ( in Salt Lake City.  More information about our Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology is available at, and about our research group at The University of Utah is ranked among the top 35 research institutions in the nation by the National Science Foundation and is home to more than 28,000 students and 18,000 employees.  Salt Lake City is a sunny Western city with outstanding cultural and outdoor recreational opportunities, including “the greatest snow on earth!”

Deadline to apply is January 7, 2011.  Opportunities to work on other projects are also available.  If you’re interested, please contact

Dr. Dave Bowling
Dept. of Biology
University of Utah


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