M.S. Graduate Research Assistantship in Forestry: Conservation and Ecology of East Texas bumble bees, with a focus on habitats restored for upland game birds:

Position: A Master’s graduate research assistantship in Forestry is available to begin Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU). The student will be co-advised by Dr. Reuber Antoniazzi, Forest Wildlife Management assistant professor at Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, and Dr. Daniel Bennett, associate professor in the Department of Biology, SFASU.

A stipend of $1,700/month for 2 years will be provided. Half of the resident tuition fees will be the student’s responsibility, with the other half covered through the SFA GRA/GTA scholarship program for qualified students.


The statuses of various North American bumble bee species are of concern, and research is needed to determine the health of populations of different species in the East Texas region. Also, habitat restoration for some wildlife species of interest, e.g., upland game birds, can play a role in conserving other species, i.e., umbrella species.

Guided by the central question, “How do the restored habitats for upland game birds affect the pollinators,” the student will conduct research on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of bumble bees, with a focus on comparisons between restored and non-restored habitats for upland game birds.

Associations of bumble bees with specific habitats and environmental correlates of diversity and abundance will be explored. This research is part of a collaborative project, comprised of multiple institutions and state agencies, evaluating in a comprehensive way the native bees in East Texas.


Individuals with research interests in ecology, entomology, botany, wildlife management, complex networks, and/or conservation biology are encouraged to apply. Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field by the start date. The successful applicant will have a strong interest in developing skills in statistical analysis using R and the ecology and taxonomy of native bees.

The project will comprise substantial field and laboratory work and require the student to show a high degree of initiative and perseverance; work well both independently and as a team member; have a strong work ethic; attention to detail; be resilient to outdoor working conditions and the southern US climate; and working long hours in the laboratory sorting, pinning, and identifying pollinators. A valid US driver’s license (without restrictions) is required.

Institutional Information:

Stephen F. Austin State University is located in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the East Texas Pineywoods region approximately 140 miles northeast of Houston and 165 miles southeast of Dallas. With a population of 33,000 residents, Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas and has a rich historical background dating back to the establishment of Spanish missions in 1721-22.

The university is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service. University enrollment is about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students can earn degrees from 40 master’s and 3 doctoral programs. The Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture enrolls about 800 undergraduate and 75 Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy students.

The college offers B.S., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in Forestry with major concentrations in Forest Management, Wildlife Management, Human Dimensions, Urban, Fire, and Agroforestry. Students can also earn a B.S. and M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences or Agriculture and a B.S. in Geospatial Science. Pending legislative approval, Stephen F. Austin State University will become a member of the University of Texas System, effective Fall of 2023.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement: At SFA, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is more than words—it is actions. We believe diversity and inclusion are keys to promoting more engaged individuals locally and globally. We at SFA are committed to amplifying a campus culture that nurtures belonging and embraces similarities while celebrating that every Lumberjack will be different. Those differences are valued, acknowledged, and supported purposefully. Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | SFA (sfasu.edu).

EEO Statement: Stephen F. Austin State University, an Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Employer and Educator, is committed to excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin, religion, or physical or mental disability as required by law. If, because of an impairment or disability, you need accommodation during any part of the employment process, please contact Human Resources at (936) 468-2304.

Application & Deadline:

Review of applications will begin June 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. The position will start in August 2023 (preferred) or January 2024. To apply, please send in one PDF file a cover letter outlining research interests and experience, a CV, transcripts (unofficial records are acceptable in the preliminary stage), GRE scores if available (not required), and the name and contact of three references. A sample of the applicant’s writing is a plus. Please send the PDF to Dr. Reuber Antoniazzi: Reuber.Antoniazzi@sfasu.edu .

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check. For questions or inquiries please contact Dr. Reuber Antoniazzi Reuber.Antoniazzi@sfasu.edu  or Dr. Daniel Bennett bennettdj@sfasu.edu .

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