Tag Archives: Vonesh

Summer undergraduate research: Ecology of James River Rock Pools

The Vonesh lab is recruiting 2-3 undergraduate collaborators to participate in a summer research program focused on the ecology of riverine rock pools. Effort: 20 – 30 hrs per week; Duration: 15 weeks, May 13 – August 19; Living allowance: $300 per wk; $4500 total; Possible travel support for 2019 Ecological Society of America Meetings in Louisville, KY – Aug 12-16.

Rock pools are an ideal system for exploring the ecological processes that shape patterns of biodiversity across space and time. Current projects include understanding how predator-prey interactions determine the abundance of native and invasive mosquito larvae, how flooding disturbance shapes patterns of biodiversity, and how environmental gradients shape ecosystem productivity.

Rockpool interns will be paired with graduate student mentors and will be encouraged to develop related individual research projects and can consider enrolling in an independent study. Interns will receive training in macroinvertebrate identification and field exampling, experimental design, data management and curation, basic GIS, and mapping habitats using imagery captured from drones. Most field work will be conducted on the “dry rocks” on the Southside of Belle Island. Some work may involve using watercraft to access rock pools inaccessible by foot. While interns will be expected to support fieldwork, those with interests in more computational or spatial analysis approaches are also encouraged to apply. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in careers in ecology, conservation, or natural resource management.

Interns will need to complete the required safety, animal handling, and ethics training. Responsibilities will likely include 1. Conducting surveys of biodiversity of rock pools, 2. Identification, sorting, and counting of aquatic invertebrate samples, 3. Helping identify and add new rock pools to our database and maps, 4. Measuring aquatic organisms using basic image analysis software, 5. assisting in the setup and takedown of large experiments conducted in artificial rock pools, 6. Monitoring rock pool temperature and oxygen, 7. Assisting in outreach education about rock pools, 8. Maintaining lab equipment in proper calibration.

Interested in applying? Fill out the Google Form found
here: https://goo.gl/forms/0xJuRm4YgSvnbQ922

For questions, contact James Vonesh, Ph.D. at
jrvonesh@vcu.edu