Join the lab!

Join the lab!

The Carey Lab is recruiting one Ph.D. student in freshwater data science and forecasting to start in Summer 2023!

The Carey Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech is recruiting one graduate student working at the intersection of freshwater ecosystem science and data science to start at the Ph.D. level in Summer 2023. We seek an enthusiastic and self-motivated student to join our highly collaborative team, and encourage interested students to read through our Mission Statement, Code of Conduct, Diversity & Inclusion Statement, and other lab resources posted on our website to learn more about our group.

We are recruiting a Ph.D. student interested in developing ecological forecasts for drinking water lakes and reservoirs. This project involves field sampling with other graduate students and undergraduate assistants as part of a water quality monitoring program; building and updating lake ecosystem models; and generating real-time water quality forecasts co-developed with managers, lake associations, and the public to guide decision-making. The Ph.D. student would work with our interdisciplinary, NSF-supported team (co-led by Quinn Thomas) to integrate data with models to study water quality and biogeochemical responses to changing climate and management. Throughout the project, the student would work closely with managers and lake associations at our field sites in Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire and Roanoke, Virginia.

The Carey Lab is committed to improving diversity in STEM. We are dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and mentoring individuals to promote diversity, equity, and justice in our research group, and all lab members are committed to upholding and supporting Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community. Our lab actively uses best practices from the science of team science and organizational management to support our collaborative work and inspire each other to grow as leaders, educators, and innovators.

The Carey Lab is part of the Virginia Tech Stream Team, an internationally-recognized group of faculty and students studying the ecology of aquatic habitats. This vibrant research group provides an ideal environment for conducting graduate work within an interactive and supportive community of freshwater and ecosystem scientists. Other opportunities for students in the Carey Lab include participating in the Virginia Tech Interfaces of Global Change program, VT Center for Communicating Science, and Cross-Boundary Biogeosciences Group.

Funding: The position will be funded on a combination of teaching and research assistantships, which include a competitive stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance benefits. Our Ph.D. program guarantees five years of funding, including summers. The starting annual Ph.D. stipend for this position (beginning summer 2023) will be ~$31,000 USD.

Successful applicants will: be excited to learn about lake and reservoir water quality and how freshwater ecosystems function; have research and scientific writing experience (from either previous employment or academic settings); enjoy collaborating in interdisciplinary teams and talking/thinking about team science, and be interested in engaging with community members about our research. Candidates with strong quantitative skills or who are interested in developing new modeling and forecasting skills are especially encouraged to apply.

How to apply: To streamline graduate admissions, we ask interested students to complete this brief form to provide an overview of why you are excited about joining our team and your previous research/life experiences. The form’s responses will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout fall 2022; I will be in touch with all applicants via email to let them know of their status within a few weeks after completing the form.

Timeline: I will interview applicants who are well-aligned with the lab group and available funding via video teleconferences throughout the fall semester, and then will invite competitive applicants to submit their materials for a December 15 deadline for Virginia Tech admissions. We no longer require GRE scores as part of our application process. Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences application requirements and guidelines can be found here. I will arrange for top-ranked applicants to visit Virginia Tech/Blacksburg during the winter/spring; all travel and lodging costs will be covered by Virginia Tech. I typically only extend offers to applicants after campus visits have concluded.


Interested in postdoctoral opportunities?

At this time, I do not have any available postdoctoral funding but will advertise broadly when I do so. In the meantime, if you are interested in our lab as a potential postdoctoral home, I encourage you to contact me to discuss working together on applications for NSF EARS fellowships, NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Biology, Smith Fellowships, or NEON Fellowships.