[MARMAM] PhD student opportunity in Antarctic baleen whale historical ecology

Alyson Fleming alyson.fleming at gmail.com
Wed Oct 16 11:10:38 PDT 2019

We are seeking a PhD student for a project on blue and fin whale biology
and Antarctic historical ecology. This project will use an archive of
baleen plates from Antarctic blue and fin whales harvested in the mid 1940s
that was recently rediscovered in the Smithsonian's National Museum of
Natural History. A suite of modern molecular techniques will be applied to
these archived specimens to ask how blue and fin whale foraging and
reproduction responded to climate variability, changes at the base of the
food web, and whaling activities in the early 1940s. Methods will include
bulk stable isotope analysis, compound-specific stable isotope analyses
(CSIA-AA), and hormone analysis.

The student will be based at the University of North Carolina Wilmington
under the supervision of Dr. Alyson Fleming in collaboration with Drs. Ari
Friedlaender and Matt McCarthy (UC Santa Cruz) and Dr. Kathleen Hunt
(George Mason University). Candidates should have a strong background in
lab work and familiarity with stable isotope or hormone methods (ideally
both). The position will require frequent/extended travel to the museum for
sampling and the collaborating universities for laboratory analyses and
meetings. The candidate should have strong communication (oral and written)
and interpersonal skills given the collaborative nature of the project. The
student must be comfortable with working independently and overseeing
undergraduate or Master’s students. General requirements include a bachelor
and Master’s degree in either biology, marine science, or ecology. A
Master’s degree is required to enter UNCW as a PhD student. Interested
candidates should send a CV and cover letter to Dr. Fleming at
FlemingA at uncw.edu.
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