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Graduate Research (PhD) Opportunities in Water Studies and Sustainability

University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri
Competitive stipend + tuition support + health insurance
Closing date
Nov 19, 2021
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The Hydrology Research Group led by Dr. Noel Aloysius at the University of Missouri is seeking 2-4 motivated students to pursue PhD studies in water and natural resources management. Students can enroll in one of the following departments:

Expected start dates are Spring or Fall semester, 2022. The selected candidates will have opportunities to pursue independent research in one or more of the following research projects:

  1. Developing, testing and validating hydrological and biogeochemical cycling, and hydraulic models for watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin, and incorporating machine learning and other novel search algorithms to offer innovative solutions to problems pertaining to water availability, watershed management and water quality.
  2. Developing integrated assessment models to evaluate the economic benefits of water resource infrastructure (dams, reservoirs, levees, irrigation canals, conservation practices and green infrastructure, etc.) on mitigation and risk reduction due to climate change, soil erosion, and enhancement of public access to water supplies.
  3. Compiling existing instrumentation and monitoring technologies, and developing data integration technologies to aid in testing, validating, and improving ecosystem model simulations/predictions.
  4. Developing holistic analytical decision support tools that account for water use, environmental conservation practices, and climate change adaptation to evaluate new technologies for aiding sustainable resource management and precision agriculture in the Missouri River Basin.
  5. Evaluating the impacts of wetland enhancement and flooding on water table dynamics and nitrate transport in mixed agricultural and natural landscapes. Research activities include field instrumentation, monitoring, and modeling ground- and surface-water interactions.
  6. Developing field instrumentation (e.g., unmanned aerial systems, large aperture scintillometers, weather stations, soil moisture sensors, etc.) and integrating cloud-based data visualization technologies to monitor, estimate, and predict ecosystem fluxes across multiple managed landscapes in the Missouri River Basin.
  7. Evaluating deficit irrigation methods to improve water management in small-scale producer systems. Research activities include setting up and monitoring smallholder agricultural plots at the University of Missouri Agricultural Experimental Station.

Successful applicants are expected to conduct high-quality research, present research findings at conferences, publish in peer-reviewed journals and assist in teaching. A competitive stipend, tuition waiver and health benefits will be provided to qualified candidates.

Qualifications: MS degree in a science or engineering discipline (e.g., Agricultural, Biological, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or related fields). Highly motivated and qualified students (CGPA > 3.5 in any of the fields listed above) with BS degrees will also be considered. Strong writing, quantitative, and analytical skills are essential. Successful candidates must be creative, motivated, and capable of working both independently and collaboratively.

Location: All positions are located in Columbia, Missouri, and will require travel to multiple field locations. Successful candidates will join a dynamic and interactive group of students and faculty in the University of Missouri’s various academic divisions including the BBCE, the SNR, the IDSI and the CEE. Students will also have opportunities for collaborative research with federal scientists at USDA-ARS Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center, and Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Application Instructions: Please email Noel Aloysius ( a single PDF including the following:

1) A letter of interest that briefly describes your educational and research background and as well as your research interests/goals (1-2 pages)

2) A curriculum vitae that also includes, if applicable, TOEFL/IELTS English proficiency test scores

3) Unofficial copies of academic transcripts, and

4) Contact information of three professional references (referrers will not be contacted initially).

Please make the email’s subject line “Graduate Research Position 2021/22” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately. ONLY short-listed candidates will be contacted for further details.

Diversity Commitment: The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek to hire individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence. The University of Missouri is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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