The Department of Forestry in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University is seeking applicants for a funded Ph.D. research assistantship. The successful candidate will be advised by Drs. Austin Himes and Joshua Granger in the Department of Forestry and conduct research on oak regeneration in upland hardwood forests of northern Mississippi. The student will conduct 3-4 controlled and replicated experiments testing specific hypotheses related to oak regeneration and changes in forest composition and structure in upland oak forests. The experiments will also act as demonstrations for teaching and outreach. The student is expected to take on an ongoing study testing the interactions of fire and an invasive annual grass on oak seeding survival and growth compared to other tree species along a fire tolerance/shade tolerance gradient. The student will initiate a new study focused on the combined effects of leaf litter composition and seed predation on germination of oaks and competitor tree species. The student will also develop 1-2 additional studies based on their interests and help develop replicated demonstration scale silvicultural treatments for upland oak forest restoration and regeneration. The successful candidate will be expected to work independently in the field to establish experiments, collect data and samples, process samples in the laboratory as needed, analyze data and communicate results through multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, presentations at national and international scientific conferences and reports to project partners. The position starts Spring semester, 2023. This is a 3-year position that includes an annual stipend of $21,000, tuition waiver and insurance.