Ph.D. Student Position in Fisheries Ecology

Download the pdf of this opportunity here.

Drs. Elizabeth Marschall ( and Stuart Ludsin ( have an opening for a Ph.D. student to begin during fall 2015 or winter 2015-2016. The student would work on a project designed to better understand how human-driven ecosystem change (i.e., climate change, species invasions, eutrophication) influences walleye recruitment in Lake Erie. 

Project description: Lake Erie’s walleye population has declined in recent decades, owing in large part to low survival during the egg and larval stage.  The mechanisms underlying this reduction remain unknown; however, several indicators suggest that the re-eutrophication of Lake Erie, the expansion of non-native benthic species, and continued climate change are altering the lower food web in a way that negatively impacts walleye reproduction.

While we have developed hypotheses to explain how these simultaneous human-driven stressors impact walleye recruitment, as well as some possible first steps for the project, we are seeking a motivated, creative student to work with us and Ohio DNR-Division of Wildlife biologists to identify the exact research questions to ask and approaches to be used. We envision a project with a blend of basic and applied research, which could incorporate field collections (made across the food web), laboratory and/or outdoor mesocosm/pond experiments, and (or) modeling. 

Location:  Successful candidates will join a dynamic, interactive group of students, post-docs, and faculty at The Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory ( within the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology ( 

Qualifications:  Successful applicants will be creative, motivated, and capable of working effectively both independently and in collaborative groups.  A Master’s degree in biology, ecology, general aquatic sciences, or a related field is required; those with a B.S. degree and an exceptional track record of research or related work experience also are encouraged to apply.  Strong writing, quantitative, and people-management skills are essential.

Stipend: ~$2,325/month plus full tuition waiver and health benefits. Full Graduate Research Associates (GRA) support exists for the degree duration, with opportunities to teach (if so desired).  

Start date: Fall 2015 or winter 2015-2016.

How to apply: Application review will begin on May 15, with applications accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

Please email Dr. Stuart Ludsin ( and Dr. Elizabeth Marschall ( 1) a letter of interest that briefly describes your educational and research background, as well as  your research interests/goals; 2) a curriculum vitae (or resume) that also includes your GRE scores and (if applicable) TOEFL/TSE scores; 3) an unofficial copy of your transcripts; and 4) contact information for at least three professional references. 

Contact information: For additional information, visit or contact Dr. Ludsin or Dr. Marschall at the above email addresses.

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