Ph.D. Student Positions Available in Arctic Biogeochemistry and Soil Ecology Starting Spring 2020

Application deadline for spring term (starting January 2020): 15 October 2019, or until filled
For questions or more information contact: Professor Michael N. Weintraub,

The Ecosystem and Soil Ecology Laboratory at The University of Toledo, led by Professor Michael N. Weintraub, invites highly motivated applicants for PhD positions to study Arctic Biogeochemistry and Soil Ecology, focusing on the controls on decomposition and nutrient cycling in Arctic tundra soils. These positions will be located in Toledo, Ohio USA, and start in January 2020.

Our laboratory conducts research dedicated to developing a mechanistic understanding of key soil processes, to learn how terrestrial ecosystems function, and to predict how they will respond to disturbances. We employ a range of biogeochemical, microbial, and environmental chemistry analyses to better understand the biotic and abiotic drivers of ecosystem responses to climate change and other disturbances. More details on our current and past projects are available here.

In particular, we are recruiting students for projects related to either:
1.    Temperature controls on decomposition and soil respiration, as part of our projects studying microbial control of litter decay and winter snow depth as a driver of microbial activity, nutrient cycling, tree growth and treeline advance in the Arctic

2.    Biological and geochemical controls on soil phosphorus availability to plants and soil microbes, as part of our new project on biological and geochemical controls on phosphorus bioavailability in arctic tundra

Students will have the opportunity to become proficient in biogeochemical and ecological approaches to study the controls on decomposition and nutrient cycling in field and laboratory systems. Successful applicants will be expected to develop projects combining Arctic field research with lab and data analysis approaches, and to collaborate with research partners from other academic institutions. Projects include the potential for Arctic fieldwork and opportunities to present at national and international conferences.
Applicants should have relevant research experience and a Master’s degree (for PhD candidates) or equivalent in ecology, soil science, environmental science, or a closed related field. Potential students will need to apply to the Department of Environmental Sciences at The University of Toledo. The University of Toledo is part of Ohio's State University System, and is the third largest public university in Ohio. The university is a prominent center for environmental education and research in Ohio and the Great Lakes region. Information about the graduate program can be found at and funding information can be found at

The University of Toledo has strict admission standards, including a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in ecology, soil science, environmental science, or a closed related field and GRE scores of 303 for Ph.D. applicants, with a minimum of 4.0 on the analytical writing section. We are preferably recruiting students for Spring 2020 but may also consider exceptional applicants for later admission. Applicants need not be from the USA, but fluency in written and spoken English, and the ability to function independently, and likely travel, in environments where only English is spoken are required. Further information about these positions can be obtained from Dr. Weintraub ( Inclusion of a letter of interest and CV will help further our conversation.

The application deadline for starting in the spring term (January) of 2020, in time for the summer field season (preferred), is 15 October 2019, or until filled.
For more information about Professor Weintraub and The Ecosystem and Soil Ecology Laboratory, please see:

The University of Toledo is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University, the Department of Environmental Sciences, and Professor Weintraub are all committed to diversity and inclusion, and strive to establish a climate that provides opportunity for full participation in the life of the University by each of its members. The University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University strives to provide all members of its community an inclusive environment and equitable opportunities for success.

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