PhD Position: Forest Regeneration, Ticks, and Fire in New York, State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF):

The Applied Forest & Fire Ecology Lab at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) seeks a motivated PhD student to lead a project investigating relationships among forest regeneration, ticks, and fire in New York.

BACKGROUND & PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Fire exclusion in New York has promoted widespread forest mesophication. This process threatens present values, and future resiliency to climatic change, of forests by restricting oak and pine regeneration. Mesophication may also be facilitating recent increases in tick abundance and tick-borne disease risk. The chosen student will collect and relate data on tree regeneration, tick abundance, tick survival, and tick-borne pathogen presence to existing and long-term data collected across known variation in fire regimes in the Central Pine Barrens of Long Island.

Such relationships will also be explored by establishing experimental applications of fire at sites spanning a latitudinal and fire-prone gradient in New York. Results should inform the regeneration of disturbance-dependent forests, and fire management of ticks, but flexibility exists to tailor the project to student interests.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This position is for a Philosophical Doctoral candidate in the Forest Resources Management program at SUNY ESF and includes a full tuition waiver and monthly stipend for 3 years. Advising will be provided by Dr. Andrew L. Vander Yacht within the Applied Forest and Fire Ecology Lab – where the student may assist in developing a facility dedicated to exploring fire ecology questions.

Advising will also be provided by Dr. Martin Dovciak, Dr. Brian Leydet, and others from SUNY ESF’s world renown faculty. The work will occur in close association with staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension, Brookhaven National Lab, and the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission.

SUNY ESF: Located in Syracuse NY, ESF is among the oldest (est. 1911) and most prestigious forestry schools in the US. ESF manages 4 field facilities on >25,000 acres that provide excellent opportunities for research. ESF students enjoy the benefits of a small institution but also access the resources of larger and adjacent Syracuse University. The Sierra Club listed ESF among the nation’s top “Cool Schools” and The Princeton Review ranked ESF as the #2 Green College.

QUALIFICATIONS: Students with related interests, peer-reviewed publications, fieldwork and project management experience, data analysis skills, effective communication abilities, and a master’s degree in forestry, fire/tick ecology, or closely related field are encouraged to apply.

TO APPLY: To begin the process, please email a CV, statement of interest, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Vander Yacht ( Please also consult the Department website ( for application details. The desired start date is May of 2022, but later or earlier dates are possible. Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2023. The position will remain open until filled. Email Dr. Vander Yacht with questions.

Salary TBD Start Date 05/15/2023

Last Date to Apply 01/30/2023

Applied Forest & Fire Ecology Lab
Dr. Andrew L. Vander Yacht
Assistant Professor of Silviculture & Forest Ecosystem Management
Department of Sustainable Resources Management
1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Phone: (315) 470-6568 | Email: | Office: 317 Bray Hall

Contact Person Dr. Andrew L. Vander Yacht Contact Phone 315-470-6568 Contact eMail

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