Graduate Research Assistantship in Invasion Ecology ~

12 de septiembre de 2004

Graduate Research Assistantship in Invasion Ecology

A two-year Graduate Research Assistantship at the M.S. level is available starting January 2005 to participate in research investigating the ecology of an invasive pathogen (Phytophthora
ramorum) that causes a lethal canker disease of several oak (Quercus) species and tanoak (Lithocarpus). This disease, known as Sudden Oak Death (SOD), has reached epidemic levels in the Coast Ranges of California and southwestern Oregon. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this multidisciplinary research project is designed to analyze and model spatial and temporal dynamics of P. ramorum. We are actively collecting and analyzing data on disease infection level, microclimate, host genetics, plant community structure, land-use history, and vertebrate activity from over 200 long-term plots located on both public and private land in northern California. Sonoma State University and the study area are located in Sonoma County, approximately 50 miles north of San Francisco. See for additional information about the Sudden Oak Death research program at SSU.
Possible thesis projects could focus on a variety of topics, such the ecological impacts of P. ramorum and the factors contributing to the establishment and spread of this disease. The graduate student will be expected to assist with field work, lab culturing of the pathogen, and statistical analysis of data associated with the larger NSF-funded project.
Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in biology or equivalent and strong background in field biology, invasion ecology, and landscape ecology. Strong quantitative, analytical and communications skills also needed.
Stipend: $17,000 per year for two years.
If interested, contact Dr. Ross Meentemeyer (project PI) in the Department of Geography (also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biology) via phone (707/664-2558) or email ( Co-PIs on the project are Drs. Hall Cushman (Department of Biology, SSU), Nathan Rank (Department of Biology, SSU), David Rizzo (Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis), and Richard Whitkus (Department of Biology, SSU).
Application: Details on application procedures can be found at For January 2005 admission, SSU must receive completed application materials by October 31, 2004.

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