PhD Assistantships – US-Africa tick-pathogen modeling position(s) in the Quantitative Disease Ecology and Conservation (QDEC) Lab at UF for AY2019.
As part of an NIH R01 funded Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) grant “Spatial Eco-Epidemiology of Tick-Borne Rickettsial Pathogens”, we are seeking to fill 1-2 PhD track graduate positions in Medical Geography to conduct habitat selection modeling, niche modeling, and use other geospatial statistical techniques to explore questions of patterns and spread of ticks and pathogens of human concern in a paired system of southern Africa and the eastern USA. Successful applicants will join the QDEC Lab (www.sadieryan.net), which is jointly housed in the Department of Geography and The Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI), at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. This project combines data sources at multiple scales, from coupling global scale remote sensing data with global vector records databases over multiple decades, to the fine-scale, examining intra-annual climatologies and ongoing records of field collected tick-pathogen samples, and understanding the interscalar implications of these in space and time.
This position offers the opportunity to work with multiple institutions on both continents, and truly be part of an international collaborative team in research, training, and capacity building. While the general research goals are defined, the candidate is expected to develop their own research questions and projects within the larger scope. Both domestic and international travel are anticipated as part of the project.
This position is primarily funded as a 12-month research assistantship (RA) for three years, with a year of TA-ship (i.e. stipend, tuition waiver, health benefits), annually reviewed for renewal with appropriate progress, with the opportunity to secure additional funding, as needed. Given the size and scope of the project, additional positions are expected through UF graduate school funding mechanisms.
- Interest and enthusiasm for studying systems of tick-borne pathogen transmission as part of a collaborative research team
- A masters in geography, ecology, biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, mathematics, or a related field, with emphasis on quantitative training (e.g. modeling, ecoinformatics, and/or statistics).
- Publication and/or presentation experience;
- Prior experience working in a collaborative research team, knowledge of professional etiquette in group situations;
- International experience, preferably with fieldwork;
- Knowledge of R programming environment, or similar
- Experience with data management, e.g. for ecoinformatics work, or GIS projects
- Familiarity with niche modeling/habitat selection models/geospatial stats
QDEC Lab is home to multiple projects looking at the impacts and interactions of people, animals, and pathogens on the landscape in a changing world. We aim to produce both cutting-edge research, and to provide that research in useful formats to decision-makers, from local units (e.g. ministries of health and vector control units in Latin America, the Caribbean, Florida) to agencies making global decisions (e.g. USAID, WorldBank). We thus bridge multiple disciplines, and PI Sadie J. Ryan is part of many programs and centers on campus, including board member for the Center for African Studies, fellow of the Florida Climate Institute, and affiliate graduate faculty in Environmental and Global Health, Society for Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) program, and Latin American Studies (LATAM).
Please direct questions and inquiries to Sadie J. Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To apply: please send an email of a cover letter of interest, a current CV, and contact information for 3 references. Please be sure to emphasize qualifications. The successful candidates will then also apply to graduate school at University of Florida, adhering to the appropriate deadlines.
Review will be ongoing from 11/01/18, closing 12/31/18.