PhD Scholarship on Freshwater Mussel Ecology| University of Maine, Orono| Fully Funded

PhD PhD Scholarship on Freshwater Mussel Ecology| University of Maine, Orono| Fully Funded

Deadline: 15 January 2023

This is a graduate Assistantship in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences; Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology, University of Maine, Orono.


I. Project Background

The Yellow Lampmussel (YLM), Lampsilis cariosa, is a medium-sized freshwater mussel occurring from Georgia, USA to Nova Scotia, Canada. The species is declining throughout its range and is a Northeast Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need.

The overall goal of this project is to conduct research to inform and guide conservation and restoration planning for YLM by

  • Assessing landscape-scale threats and potential restoration sites for YLM across its range including development of a range-wide landscape scale multi-species distribution model using data from cooperating state agencies and international partners and
  • Assessing habitat for YLM and potential locations for YLM surveys and restoration using side-scan sonar and GIS tools to characterize and map habitat types within the Penobscot River (ME), identifying habitat suitability for YLM in the Penobscot River watershed. This is a highly collaborative project including state and federal partners. A key part of this position will be engaging with stakeholders, in addition to data collection and analyses.

II. Qualifications

  • M.S. or equivalent experience in ecology, biology, GIS, computer science, statistics, or other relevant discipline required.
  • Experience with GIS and R, an interest in freshwater ecology, strong oral and written communication skills, and excellent record in seeing projects through from start to finish are highly desirable. 
  • Successful applicants will be expected to work both independently and collaboratively, mentor undergraduates in the group, develop independent research questions related to overall project goals, operate federal vehicles and boats, embrace environmental data science, and publish research results. 
  • We are committed to anti-racism and value diverse identities, experiences, and skills.

III. Benefits

  • Approximately $26,000 per year for 4 years will be covered by the research project. 
  • Tuition and a minimum of half of health insurance premiums will be covered. 
  • There may be an additional opportunity for one or two semesters of Teaching Assistantship support.

Iv. How To Apply?

  • Please complete the application HERE
  • For enquiries, please email [email protected] with the subject header "Freshwater Mussels PhD Assistantship"

V. Project Team

VI. Other information

  • Please note that applicants from historically excluded groups are especially encouraged to apply.
  • The University of Maine Orono is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. 
  • The University of Maine, an R1-institution, is a friendly community in the small, bike-able town of Orono, just a few minutes from the city of Bangor.  Ample forest, bogs, rivers and lakes, set in between the famous Hundred-Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trail and the spectacular rocky coastline of Acadia National Park, surround the campus.