University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public institution that was founded in 1867. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 34,779 (fall 2021), its setting is city, and the campus size is 1,783 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 41.

We are seeking two highly motivated PhD students to join our research team in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) at the University of Illinois to quantify the impacts of different stressors on sportfish populations. We anticipate graduate opportunities for two different research projects:

(1) a PhD student to define the role of climate change and thermal stressors on the distribution of smallmouth bass and walleye, and (2) a PhD student to quantify how biotic and abiotic stressors influence life history and conservation in paddlefish. Work will consist of both laboratory experiments and field studies, and involve both behavioral and physiological responses and ecological modeling. Projects will be conducted in collaboration with several state, federal and industry partners. Results will inform policy on conservation practices to enhance and protect freshwater fisheries.


Minimum Qualifications: Experience with fish handling, fish care in a laboratory setting, or fisheries techniques in a field setting. Excellent writing and verbal communication skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to both work independently and contribute to a research team. Experience planning and coordinating field teams is an asset.

Desired Experience: An MS degree in biology, ecology, fisheries or other related discipline. Demonstrated ability to conduct research independently. Research productivity, experience conducting statistical analyses, and experience communicating scientific findings through oral and written communication are important. Valid driver’s license is also required.

Start date will be Fall 2023.

Salary: Approximately $27,000 per year, benefits, tuition waiver

How to apply:

If interested, please send email to Dr. Cory Suski ( by November 9, 2022 with the following: CV, transcripts (unofficial are sufficient), contact information for three references and a brief cover letter outlining relevant experience and perceived fit within the lab group.

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