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PhD assistantship – the effects of sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion on coastal agroecosystems

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Academic Level:
Undergraduates - Senior
Graduate Students (Masters)
Graduate Students (PhD)

I am seeking a motivated PhD student to start in the spring of 2021 in the AgroEcoLab at the University of Maryland (Dept. of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture). Research will focus on the effects of saltwater intrusion on nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycling. Fieldwork will be conducted in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia the student will be part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team funded by the NSF. Students will have the opportunity to conduct field and laboratory studies, developing their knowledge of biogeochemistry, soil science, hydrology, and plant community ecology. My lab takes a systems approach to evaluating agricultural sustainability and works closely with farmers to determine how best the scientific community can meet the needs of practitioners. Applicants must, therefore, possess integrity, enthusiasm, creativity, and effective communication in a collaborative setting.

The applicant should have an M.S. degree or substantial undergraduate research in the areas of agroecology, wetland ecology, soil science, environmental science, agronomy, or a related field. Applicants should have at least two years of field and laboratory experience and research focusing on dissolved organic carbon is a plus. Preference will be given to those with experience running atomic absorption spectrometers, flow injection colorimeters, ion chromatographs, gas chromatographs, and other wet chemistry analytical instrumentation.

The AgroEcoLab at the University of Maryland is directed by Dr. Kate Tully. Our research examines how to balance food and environmental objectives in a changing world. The specific project will test the effect of saltwater intrusion, the landward movement of sea salts, on crop productivity, water quality, and metrics of soil health. Our objectives are to develop management strategies and policy frameworks that can balance farmer needs and environmental health on coastal farms that are losing land to saltwater intrusion.

To apply, please send me an email ( with your CV, GRE scores, three references, and a brief narrative of your past experience and interest in the program. All applicants must also apply online to the UMD Graduate School and indicate interest in my lab. This position is a fully-funded (competitive graduate stipends, full benefits, and tuition remission) through a 5-year NSF grant.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
University of Maryland, College Park (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Environmental Sciences
Geological Sciences
Marine Sciences & Oceanography
Natural Resources
STEM Fields

Agricultural Ecology
Carbon Cycle Research
Global Ecology

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This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 3/18/2021
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