Positions Available



[posted November 5, 2015]

I am seeking two exceptional, motivated, and fun students who wish to pursue M.S. or Ph.D degrees under my guidance in the broad areas of aquatic microbial ecology, community ecology, and limnology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Graduate research assistantships are available to work on two funded projects starting in mid-2016.

1.  In the first project, you would work with a team exploring the diversity of bacterial communities that are discharged with the ballast water of commercial ships and compare these communities with water and sediment bacterial communities found in Lake Superior to identify potentially harmful and invasive microorganisms that be introduced with this ballast water discharge.

2. In the second project, you would work with a team that is investigating biocorrosion. We are exploring methods to prevent biofilm formation or modify bacterial communities to help control microbiologically influenced corrosion of steel structures in freshwater. 

These projects would be ideal for persons with a keen interest in aquatic microbiology or ecology who already have some background in molecular biology. Potential students should first examine the information for Prospective Graduate Students on this web site.  If you are interested in these graduate training opportunities, then contact me soon (rhicks@d.umn.edu ) and send information about your prior experiences (i.e., resume, list of college courses taken, GPA, GRE scores, names of references).  Applicants must be admitted to and can obtain a M.S. or Ph.D. degree from one of two graduate degree programs:  Water Resources Science (http://wrs.umn.edu/ ) or Integrated Biosciences (http://www.d.umn.edu/ibs/ ).

Final decisions about these graduate research assistantships will be made before February 29, 2016. I look forward to learning more about your interests and how they may fit with research being conducted in our laboratory.



I anticipate hiring a postdoctoral associate in 2016 to work on a funded project examining potentially harmful bacteria in the ballast water of commercial ships and the St. Louis River estuary, and the effectivness of current ballast water treatments. This person should be well versed in molecular microbial ecology methods including next generation sequencing and the analysis of genomic data. More information will be available later and a formal search for this position will begin in early 2016. If you have or will complete a PhD degree soon and are interested, then contact me now by email (rhicks@d.umn.edu) to discuss this opportunity.


The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is located in Duluth, MN on the southwestern tip of Lake Superior. More than 500 aquatic professionals work in the Duluth area including scientists and researchers at UMD, the Large Lakes Observatory, the Natural Resources Research Institute, and government agencies like the EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Laboratory and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Abundant recreational opportunities and a high quality of life complement the thriving intellectual and artistic atmosphere in the region.




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