A position is open for a PhD student to join Dr. Allie Gardner’s vector-borne disease ecology lab in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine (Orono, ME) in Fall 2020 or Fall 2021 as part of a new, interdisciplinary One Health NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program. Students in the NRT program will 1) be trained in social, biophysical, and health sciences; 2) participate in intensive internships with health-related business, policy, and non-profit partners; and 3) be mentored in a culture of innovative, solutions-driven, multidisciplinary research. The ideal candidate for this opportunity has intellectual and professional interests in applying interdisciplinary concepts and tools to develop solutions to complex public health problems. A Master’s degree (currently in progress or completed) is desired, but not required.
The research topic for the position will address the social-ecological context of mosquito-borne disease transmission in the Caribbean. A variety of environmental and social phenomena (e.g., climate change, freshwater loss, tourism development, natural disasters) may impact mosquito production, control practices, and disease spread across spatial scales via different mechanisms, and in turn, mosquito-borne disease risk may have important economic and social implications for affected regions. The project will use an integrated research approach, providing opportunities to develop scientific skills that may include but are not limited to experimental design, field ecology, social science research (researching people’s opinions and analyzing secondary data), GIS and spatial analysis, and modeling. The student will be co-mentored by Dr. Sandra De Urioste-Stone, associate professor of nature-based tourism at UMaine, and also will interact closely with a diverse team of biophysical and social scientists in the School of Biology and Ecology, School of Forest Resources, and Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. Members of the lab regularly engage in scientific outreach and research partnerships with public health agencies and private organizations. Opportunities to conduct international field research in the Caribbean are available.
The student will be supported by a combination of Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant positions, both of which include a stipend, tuition waiver, and 50% health insurance coverage. The student may be admitted through the program in Ecology and Environmental Science or the program in Biological Sciences depending upon her/his interests and professional goals. Prior to submitting an application, please send inquiries to Dr. Allie Gardner ([email protected]) with a cover letter discussing your interest in interdisciplinary graduate study and relevant coursework and research experience; a CV including GPA and GRE scores; and names and email contacts for three references. Full application materials must be submitted to the One Health NRT program coordinator and the UMaine Graduate School by January 15, 2020.