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PhD Assistantship: Alaskan grouse and their parasites

The Sweet Lab seeking a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy assistantship in Molecular Biosciences or Environmental Sciences at Arkansas State University. The student will use an integrative approach to study the relationships between Alaska grouse and their parasites. The project will incorporate field-based assessment, genomics, transcriptomics, and molecular screening to assess infection of parasites and evolutionary responses to infection in different populations of grouse species in Alaska. The successful candidate will be involved in field (sampling grouse), laboratory (genetic screening, genomic extractions and sequencing), and bioinformatics work. The project will be part of a longer-term collaborative project focused on the dynamics of novel parasite infection in Arctic grouse populations. Therefore, the successful candidate will also work with collaborators at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, along with a team of private landowners and biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. 

The successful candidate will work under a Research Traineeship called UandI-DEECoDE (pronounced “You and I decode”), which stands for Understanding Invasion and Disease Ecology and Evolution through Computational Data Education. This Research Traineeship aims to address the absence of interdisciplinarity across invasion biology, disease ecology, and data science by effectively bridging these disciplines and improving the pace and magnitude of scientific discovery across these fields ( 

As a funded doctoral trainee in the UandI-DEECoDE program, the successful applicant will have access to funds for travel and research, along with a one-year stipend. This stipend can be used to cover graduate school fees and living expenses. Continuing support for salary and tuition will come from university program funds or other external grants from academic mentors. 

Trainees will be able to participate in a student leadership committee to help ensure the program’s longevity and that students’ needs are being met. Additionally, annual winter data bootcamps and summer professional development institutes will be organized. These will be opportunities for funded and non-funded students to collaborate on scientific case studies, hear guest speakers, and present research ideas or findings.

Start date: August 2023

Qualifications: Master of Science (preferred) or Bachelor of Science in evolution, ecology, wildlife, or other relevant discipline. Experience with molecular techniques, bioinformatics (especially R or Python), and field work is desirable but not required. However, the successful candidate must exhibit a willingness to work hard, learn new skills, and be able to work well in a team. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Application deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, but priority will be given to applications received by January 1, 2023. Selected finalists will then be directed to apply for the UandI-DEECoDE program, which has a deadline of January 15, 2023.


To apply, pleased send the following to with the subject line “NRT PhD application”: 1) One-page cover letter detailing your interest in the position, 2) CV, 3) unofficial transcripts, 4) a writing sample (if possible), and 5) contact information for three professional references.

PhD Assistantship: Phylogenomics, population genetics, and taxonomy of the Rosyface Shiner complex

The Fluker Lab and Sweet Lab at Arkansas State University are seeking qualified applicants for a PhD Graduate Research Assistantship to study phylogenomics, population genomics, and taxonomy of the Rosyface Shiner complex in Arkansas and beyond.


Start date: Summer or Fall 2023.

Program options: PhD program in Environmental Sciences (EVS) or Molecular Biosciences (MBS)

Compensation: Salary is $18-20K per year with tuition waiver. Funding includes supplies, field travel, and conferences.

Qualifications and experience: BS or MS in Biology or related field. Prior research experience desired. Ideal candidates will have some combination of experience in aquatic/fish sampling, genomic techniques, bioinformatics, scientific writing, and taxonomy.

Application deadline: February 1, 2023

Please send a single PDF file with 1) statement of interest, 2) CV, 3) transcripts, and 4) contact information for 3 references to:
Dr. Brook Fluker (
Dr. Andrew Sweet (

MS position: Prevalence and dispersal of parasitic lice among birds in Arkansas

The Sweet Lab is recruiting an MS student to focus on the prevalence, diversity, and dispersal of parasitic lice on birds in Arkansas. The project will integrate field, genomic, and computational approaches to understand patterns of parasite associations with birds among different habitats. 

Start date: Fall 2023

Program: MS in Biological Sciences (note: GRE not required)

Support: Stipend from Teaching Assistantships in the Department of Biological Sciences

Qualifications: BS in Biology or a related field. Prior research is desired. Ideal candidates will have experience in measuring and banding birds, genomic and molecular techniques, bioinformatics, and/or scientific writing.


Application deadline: February 1, 2023 

To apply, please send a single PDF file with 1) statement of interest, 2) CV, 3) transcripts, and 4) contact information for 3 references to with the subject line: “MS Position Application.” 

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at Arkansas State interested in doing research in the lab should email me at with the following information: 1) a brief statement about research interests, 2) career goals, and 3) how working in the lab can help you achieve your goals.

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