[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD and MS Opportunity in Sedimentology/Paleobiology/Environmental Change, Univ. of Oklahoma (project in Africa)

Christine Wiedinmyer christin at ucar.edu
Thu Oct 9 13:26:25 MDT 2014

PhD and MS Opportunity in Sedimentology/Paleobiology/Environmental Change
I am looking for PhD and MS applicants in the School of Geology and 
Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma, to work with me (Dr. Mike 
Soreghan, sedimentary geology) and colleagues on a 
sedimentology/environmental change project in Lake Tanganyika, Africa.

I am seeking applicants for both a 4-year PhD and 2-year MS position to 
conduct research for a field-based project funded by the National 
Science Foundation. The specific project objectives are outlined below.

The successful applicants should be strongly motivated and have a strong 
interest in interdisciplinary research, including 
conservation/environmental sciences. Prior field work in Africa is 
desirable, but not required, but the candidate should express a 
willingness to work in remote field areas. Applicants should highlight 
experience in, or willingness to learn, research methods concerning 
field collection of sediment samples, cores, seismic data and laboratory 
methods such as taphonomic analysis, sedimentologic and geochemical 
analysis of sediment and seismic analysis. The PhD applicant must have 
an MS degree (in geology or allied fields) by Fall, 2015 that included a 
thesis. The MS applicant should demonstrate some research experience at 
the undergraduate level, particularly if it resulted in a paper or 
abstract. The successful candidates at both levels will be expected to 
contribute to education and outreach activities, present results at 
scientific conferences, and ultimately publish results in peer-reviewed 
scientific journals.

Project Synopsis:
Lake Tanganyika is widely considered a “natural laboratory” for the 
study of evolutionary and ecological processes, because many of the 
organisms have evolved and diversified within the lake itself. This 
ecological treasure, however, is facing a number of environmental 
threats. Numerous studies have focused either on open-water fisheries or 
on watershed (sedimentation and pollution) issues as these affect the 
health and wealth of the four riparian countries. However, the vast 
“shell beds” within the shallow (10-30 m) regions of Lake Tanganyika 
have received much less attention, even though these accumulations of 
dead shells are a unique habitat to Lake Tanganyika and host a diverse, 
endemic fauna, including numerous Cichlid fish. These accumulations of 
dead snail shells are pervasive, but appear to contain no living snails 
in the same habitat. If living snails are absent, then it implies either 
natural environmental change or acute anthropogenic impacts. Thus, these 
shell beds, if measured correctly, provide a means of assessing natural 
and human-induced environmental change. The goal of this project is to 
compare and contrast three sites within shallow regions of Lake 
Tanganyika that are floored by shell beds, but that vary in terms of 
their land use.

Interested students should email Dr. Mike Soreghan (msoreg at ou.edu) by 
December 15, 2014.

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