Jobs: Ichthyology

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Temporary Research Associate in Ichthyology

Date Posted: 21 Feb 2017 (Show details)

Institution: Great Basin Institute
Location: Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Closing date: not provided

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting for a Research Associate (RA) to serve as a Biological Science Specialist at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility, Amargosa Valley, NV. Primary duties include development and implementation of a long-term ecosystem monitoring plan for a 100,000 gallon refuge tank that simulates the Devils Hole spring ecosystem and provides habitat for a backup population of endangered Devils Hole pupfish, and assisting the aquaculturist/fish biologist in fish and aquatic invertebrate culture and care. The RA works directly under the supervision of the Facility Manager and with project partners and cooperators.

The position is full-time, temporary (7 months, March/April 2017 – September 2017). Compensation is $21/hr with ACA-compliant health benefits.

Main duties include:

  • Acts as lead technician on the inventory and monitoring of the refuge tank ecosystem. This includes conducting a wide variety of water quality tests to monitor biotic and abiotic parameters, such as water chemistries, nutrients, and bacterial loads. This also includes development, planning, scheduling, and implementing aquatic invertebrate surveys, fish surveys, and substrate and algal surveys.
  • Continues the development and implementation of the currently in-progress ecosystem monitoring plan for the refuge tank ecosystem. This includes determining appropriate survey equipment, experimental design, database management, quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) of large datasets, statistical analyses, creating and updating SOPs, presentations, and reports to supervisors and cooperators.
  • Assists in culture and inoculation of aquatic invertebrates in aquaria
  • Assists with fish culture and care for desert fishes in aquaria.
  • Works independently to maintain and troubleshoot environmental monitoring equipment such as Hach multiprobe water quality sensors, light meters, HOBO temperature loggers. Ability to reference O&M manuals, written and video-recorded SOPs, and other resources, as required.
  • Accurately records and archives data and meticulously maintains and archives written records of laboratory and field activities, including by not limited to: water qualities, aquatic flora and fauna propagation and culture activities, environmental surveys, and all other work completed. The incumbent will keep these records in such a manner that they may be referenced and interpreted by internal and external regulatory agencies for the purposes of endangered species management for high-profile species.
  • Follows SOPs and sterile technique procedures to ensure proper cleanliness, decontamination, and sterilization of laboratory and hatchery facilities, equipment, and sampling gear.
  • Assists in the planning and execution of the planned program by making recommendations and ensuring communication are effective between facility staff and other partners and offices.
  • Works cooperatively with various U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners to address ecological, hatchery, and fish and invertebrate culture questions to further the successful propagation of native aquatic organisms in the southwest.
  • Heads outreach, scheduling, training, and direct supervision to volunteers for facility activities.
  • The work is completed in both indoor and outdoor locations, often in extreme conditions, and often working alone.
  • Requires considerable physical exertion such as bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, lifting, and cleaning. Some weekend and odd-hour work may be required.
  • Applicant must be comfortable working at a facility that is located in a semi-remote desert location.  

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s and two years of experience or Master’s degree in biology or environmental sciences (e.g. ecology, fisheries, entomology, conservation biology, wildlife management, or related field) OR at least four years of full-time work experience in a closely related field.
  • Experience in data collection and management and project reporting.
  • Familiarity with and ability to use a microscope to identify micro, meio, and macro invertebrates
  • Experience in working in a laboratory setting running water quality analyses and utilizing laboratory analytical equipment and methods including but not limited to spectrophotometry, balances, and microscopes.
  • Education or experience in community and/or ecosystem ecology a plus.
  • Willingness and ability to work in harsh desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team.
  • Willingness, ability, and experience working in a scientific laboratory setting that involves frequent use of hazardous laboratory and industrial chemicals according to OSHA regulations
  • Experience or training in aquaculture, aquarium, or hatchery operations, or keeping aquatic animals in aquaria, a plus.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience.
  • Experience in volunteer coordination a plus.
  • Valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road.
  • Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training.
  • Ability to lift a minimum 50 lbs. for short periods of time.
  • Current SCUBA certification or willingness to obtain certification a plus.  

To Apply:

Apply online at crcareers.thegreatbasininstitute.org/careers/.

Ichthyology Graduate Student Opportunities

Date Posted: 5 Jun 2016 (Show details)

Institution: University of Rhode Island
Location: Kingston, Rhode Island
Closing date: not provided

The Webb Lab at the University of Rhode Island has openings for graduate students (MS or PhD) in Spring 2017 or Fall 2017. Students with experience and/or a strong interest in fish morphology and who are interested in comparative, functional, and evolutionary aspects of sensory anatomy and/or development in fishes are encouraged to visit the Webb Lab website for more information.

Projects include:

  • Sensory ontogeny in the pelagic larvae of coral reef fishes;
  • Sensory biology of deep-sea fishes (lateral line and other modalities);
  • Evolution and development of the mechanosensory lateral line system (using cichlid fishes as a model system);
  • Others, based on mutual interests and funding opportunities.

Contact: Jaqueline Webb, Jacqueline_webb [at] uri [dot] edu.  or talk with her at the JMIH meeting in July 2016.  

Ph.D Position in Population Genetics in Australian Streams

Date Posted: 9 Jul 2015 (Show details)

Institution: University of Canberra
Location: Canberra, Australia
Closing date: not provided

A Ph.D. project is available at the University of Canberra studying the drivers of fine scale genetic spatial structuring in aquatic organisms in eastern Australia with a focus on the Murray-Darling Basin, Lake Eyre Basin and Clarence River system.

Our central aim is to determine the spatial scale at which species are genetically structured in riverine ecosystems. The spatial scale of population sub-structuring provides indirect estimates of the degree of mixing between populations and the speed at which recolonization occurs in stream reaches following extirpation events, and so is a crucial component of the management of aquatic ecosystems and of restoration efforts. Despite its importance, genetic research across varying spatial scales is lacking for most aquatic species and river basins. Specifically, this project will address three questions:

  • How does genetic structure within aquatic species vary across the riverine landscape at the spatial scales of river reaches, tributaries, major rivers and drainage basins?
  • Do more complex dendritic riverine networks show greater intra-specific genetic structure than linear systems at the same scale, and if so, why?
  • How has variation in fluvial geomorphic characteristics and current and long-term climatic variation influenced connectivity and the spatial scale in structuring riverine fauna over the last ~100,000 years?

We are collecting SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) data for thousands of loci via next-generation sequencing for multiple species including fishes, turtles and shrimps from several focal catchments that have a range of dendritic structures across an aridity gradient with a variety of fluvial geomorphic characteristics and histories.

The options for the specific Ph.D. research questions are somewhat open, but projects would be expected to focus on developing and extending connectivity models that compare different network structures and incorporating and analysis our SNP datasets with these models. A strong background in modeling (knowledge in computer programming, statistical and spatial analysis using R) is important, while knowledge of genetic data, while helpful is not crucial. The Ph.D. project is part of a recently successfully granted ARC Linkage project; the detailed project description is available on request. Students would be supervised by some combination of Bernd Gruber, Peter Unmack, Duanne White or Arthur Georges and others, depending on the final project details.

Important Points

  • This project and the PhD candidature will be administered through the University of Canberra.
  • You will need to have completed a B.Sc. and some subsequent form of research-focussed degree (an M.Sc., or in the Australian/New Zealand system, an Honors year) to be considered.
  • If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, you would be eligible to be considered for an APA Stipend Scholarship, and would be eligible for exemption from tuition fee payments under the Australian Government’s Research Training Scheme (RTS). An APA stipend scholarship is currently valued at $28,549pa. A small number of top-up Scholarships valued at $5,000 pa are also available;
  • If you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, unless you are the recipient of a competitive merit based scholarship, you will be liable for upfront fees, at a rate of approximately $AUS 20k p.a.

To Apply:

If you are interested in applying, please send an email to Peter Unmack (peter [dot] unmack [at] canberra [dot] edu [dot] au) and provide the following information:

  • An expression of interest, and some general background of your past experience, qualifications, and expertise relevant to this project;
  • A copy of your CV;
  • Preferably, copies of all your academic transcripts (B.Sc. and subsequent degrees) to demonstrate which specific subjects you have undertaken.

Ph.D Position in Australian Freshwater Fishes

Date Posted: 9 Jul 2015 (Show details)

Institution: University of Canberra
Location: Canberra, Australia
Closing date: not provided

A PhD project is available at the University of Canberra studying the evolutionary origins of sexually-parasitic ‘unisexual’ lineages in carp gudgeons (Eleotridae: genus Hypseleotris).

Vertebrate groups that harbour both sexual and unisexual taxa have been highly prized as testing grounds for a range of big-picture questions in evolutionary biology. However, such groups are extremely rare, and none thus far has provided the optimal mix of biological features required to fully explore these questions. Our project has three general aims for newly-discovered instances of unisexuality in carp gudgeons:

  • Establish this group as a powerful vertebrate model for the study of unisexuality and of the evolutionary significance of sex;
  • Test six ‘standard’ hypotheses about the evolutionary attributes of vertebrate unisexuals'
  • Provide the essential genomic and morphological criteria required to uniquely identify each sexual and sexually-parasitic taxon in this hugely-important but neglected complex of freshwater fishes, prominent residents of Australia’s most-intensively studied waterways.

These aims will be achieved using a combination of multiple genetic technologies (allozymes, mtDNA, next-generation DNA), laboratory breeding trials, basic ecological studies, and morphological assessments.

Unisexual carp gudgeons represent the first example of sexual parasitism in any Australian vertebrate, the first new instance in a vertebrate world-wide in over 20 years, and only the fourth vertebrate example of an all-male hybridogen. As part of our broader project, we expect the successful elucidation of the number, nature, and evolutionary origins of unisexual lineages in carp gudgeons, underpinned by a solid taxonomic framework, laboratory husbandry protocols, and breeding experimentation, to trigger a considerable volume of theoretical and applied research, both in Australia and world-wide.

Carp gudgeons are among the most abundant native fishes in south eastern Australia, where they comprise ~6 sexual species (three of which are undescribed). Four of these sexual species are known to mate with (and thus help perpetuate) sexually parasitic lineages, while another “species” (Lakes carp gudgeon) is currently only known from its genetic signature in some unisexual lineages (i.e. the sexual ancestor appears to be extinct). Ecologically these fishes offer great opportunities for research, since multiple sexual and unisexual forms often occur at the same site, both in the Murray-Darling Basin and the coastal drainages along central eastern Australia. Research into the ecology and evolution of these fishes remains limited, so all new investigations will be groud-breaking.

The options for the specific Ph.D. research questions are wide open, but projects examining evolutionary questions around their reproduction in aquariums, aspects of their ecology in the wild or examining morphological variation are preferred. The Ph.D. project is part of a recently successfully granted ARC Discovery project; the detailed project description is available on request. Students would be supervised by Peter Unmack (UC), Mark Adams (SA Museum) and others, depending on the project.

Important Points:

  • This project and the PhD candidature will be administered through the University of Canberra.
  • You will need to have completed a B.Sc. and some subsequent form of research-focussed degree (an M.Sc., or in the Australian/New Zealand system, an Honors year) to be considered.
  • If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, you would be eligible to be considered for an APA Stipend Scholarship, and would be eligible for exemption from tuition fee payments under the Australian Government’s Research Training Scheme (RTS). An APA stipend scholarship is currently valued at $28,549pa.  A small number of top-up Scholarships valued at $5,000 pa are also available.
  • If you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, unless you are the recipient of a competitive merit based scholarship, you will be liable for upfront fees, at a rate of approximately $AUS 20k p.a.

To Apply:

If you are interested in applying, please email Peter Unmack (peter [dot] unmack [at] canberra [dot] edu [dot] au) and provide the following information:

  • An expression of interest, and some general background of your past experience, qualifications, and expertise relevant to this project
  • A copy of your CV
  • Preferably, copies of all your academic transcripts (B.Sc. and subsequent degrees) to demonstrate which specific subjects you have undertaken.
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