Funded MS Opportunity: eDNA detection of elusive herpetofauna

The Barnes Lab at Texas Tech University is seeking a highly motivated MS student to develop and apply environmental DNA (eDNA) assays for detection of the dunes sagebrush lizard beginning September 2019.

More specifically, the student will lead the development and optimization of a novel genetic assay for detection of the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus). The student will then apply the assay to estimate the ecology of eDNA (including accumulation and persistence rates) in dune habitats and estimate dunes sagebrush occupancy and habitat use, including within experimental habitat restoration sites.  

Qualifications: Ideal candidates will be enthusiastic, creative, and motivated. This position will require hard work, problem solving, and a tolerance for southwest Texas heat. During fieldwork, students may encounter venomous snakes and invertebrates. Experience with herpetofauna and/or genetics is desirable. Excellent communication skills are also preferred.

The position will include a stipend of $18-20K/year (depending upon qualifications) and a tuition waiver for up to 2 years, plus opportunities for additional fellowships. Applications are encouraged from everyone, including ethnic and gender minorities. Texas Tech University is one of four major state supported universities in Texas and is designated as an emerging research university by the State of Texas.

To Apply: The deadline for applying is August 9. Interested applicants should email Dr. Matthew Barnes (matthew[dot]a[dot]barnes[at] with “MS Opportunity” in the subject line.

Please include in the email:

  1. How this position will help you fulfill your career goals and why I should hire you
  2. Resume or CV including pertinent work experience
  3. Undergraduate transcripts + GRE scores (unofficial is acceptable)
  4. Contact information for two references

Note that Texas Tech University requires a background check of all new employees.

For additional information on the Department:

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