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Sponsored projects are funded by research grants obtained by biology faculty members or from sponsorships offered by regional research partners. Current sponsored project opportunities for Biology graduate students are listed below. Note that new sponsored opportunities are posted periodically, so please check back for updates.
Applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty members to inquire about projects listed and/or about additional opportunities that may not be listed:
Sponsored Project Opportunities available for 2020-2022:
Improving detection methods for White-nose Syndrome – CLOSED
The WCSU Fungus Lab (PI: Hannah Reynolds) has a paid assistantship available for Fall, 2021 for a student to help improve detection methods for the wildlife disease White-nose Syndrome. This research, funded through the CSU-AAUP, uses loop-amplification mediated PCR to identify the presence of the White-nose Syndrome fungus in samples. We have already developed & optimized the LAMP protocols for this pathogen using purified DNA from fungal cultures, and now the goal is to develop a sampling protocol for the field. The responsibilities include counting fungal spores, isolating DNA, and running LAMP reactions. Desired qualifications are experience in molecular work (pipetting skills, etc.) and microbiology. A stipend of up to $2400 ($15/hr, not to exceed 10 hrs/week) is available. Interested students should contact the PI at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “WNS Research Assistantship” and include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, as well as a CV by September 15th, 2021.
Updating the Natural Resource Inventory – OPEN
The Town of Ridgefield is seeking a Grad Student to assist in updating our 2012 Natural Resource Inventory during the 2021/22 school year. The focus of the work will be on re-surveying our Vernal Pool, FoSA, Amphibian and Reptiles, and Bog Turtle Maps and Data Tables. Leading Citizen Science groups and/or student groups to help with data collection will be included in the project. Stipend or $15 hourly wage is available. Please contact Dr. Pinou if interested.
Norwalk River Riverweed Conservation Project – OPEN
There is an opening for a graduate student to become involved in an ongoing research project introducing the Native Podostemum ceratophyllum Michx. (Podostemaceae, Hornleaf Riverweed) into the Norwalk River, in Wilton, CT. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in aquatic plants, river restoration or aquatic ecosystems. Prospective or new graduate students interesting in learning more should contact Dr. Thomas Philbrick at email@example.com or graduate student Kelly Nealon at firstname.lastname@example.org. [posted 1-26-2021]
Graduate Fellowship Position: Finding Our Way – CLOSED
The Pinou Lab, in collaboration with NOAA, Housatonic Valley Association (HVA), and Danbury Public Schools is looking for a student interested in pursuing a MS to join our watershed stewardship team to collect data on the impact
of project based learning (PBL) on high school STEM academic achievement. We are particularly interested in motivated students with an interest in integrating land use ecology with citizen science and K-12 STEM education research. The project is part of a larger effort to improve local watersheds and the biodiversity they support, and part of an institutional effort to increase access to STEM education for urban youth. The graduate student selected will be responsible for attending PBL training with high school aquatic science teachers and assist in their implementation of classroom projects. The student will also be responsible for peer-mentoring of the Summer Watershed Steward Ambassador (SWSA) program to build community among interns and restore recreational space along the Still River watershed. Secondary education teachers and students interested in obtaining MS in science education are encouraged to apply. Student support includes university assistantships, internal scholarships, and fellowships (internal and external). Interested students should contact the PI at email@example.com and include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, as well as a CV by April 15th, 2021. All interested students must hold a drivers license and be accepted into the MS in Integrated Biological Diversity program (https://www.wcsu.edu/biology-msbiodiversity/how-to-apply/). [posted 12-1-2020]
Graduate Assistantship in Vertebrate Zoology and Evolution – OPEN
The WCSU graduate program in Integrative Biological Diversity is seeking a MS student interested in comparative morphology, comparative genomics and/or biogeography of vertebrates to study regionally important endangered species. The student will have access to historical collections (i.e., Herndon G. Dowling Herpetological Collection), and frozen tissue collected by Dr. Theodora Pinou and her research partners for research and thesis development. The student will be expected to assist in the maintenance of the vertebrate teaching collection, and frozen tissue collection for 20 hours a week. Students must be accepted into the MS in Integrative Biological Diversity program and enroll full time (9 credits per semester). The graduate assistantship includes a competitive stipend and graduate fee waiver (Note that tuition is not waived). Interested students should contact the PI at firstname.lastname@example.org and include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, as well as a CV by April 15th, 2021. [posted 12-1-2020]
Diamondback Terrapin Tracking – CLOSED
The Pinou Lab, in collaboration CT DEEP Wildlife Division, Connecticut DOT, and the Norwalk Aquarium is looking for a student interested in pursuing a MSc to join our Terrapin Tracking Team to collect data on Diamondback Terrapins in Connecticut. We are particularly interested in motivated students with an interest in integrating land use ecology with citizen science research. The project is part of a larger effort to map wildlife mortality on Connecticut roads. The student will be responsible for responding to hotline calls and managing all spatial and temporal data, as well as for working with citizen scientists to conduct surveys. The project will provide the student experience in geographic information systems (GIS) and in implementing citizen science initiatives. This project can be applied towards the stewardship requirement for the MSc degree and can be used to develop a research thesis that explores frameworks in wildlife conservation, landscape and urban ecology, the reliability of citizen science data, and the intersection between citizen science outreach and policy. Student support includes university assistantships, internal scholarships, and fellowships (internal and external). Interested students should contact the PI at email@example.com and include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, as well as a CV by April 15th, 2021. All interested students must hold a driver’s license and be accepted into the MS in Integrated Biological Diversity program (https://www.wcsu.edu/biology-msbiodiversity/how-to-apply/). [posted 12-1-2020]