Graduate students

(wanting to do a PhD or MSc)

New opportunity!

We are looking for a student with broad interests and experience in reef fish ecology to develop a project partly or fully within the FISHSCAPE project in the Florida Keys. Thus students with interests in fish foraging, acoustic telemetry, and seascape ecology are encouraged to apply. The project is also likely to include a component looking at the epigenetic signals of changes in foraging behavior, so students with interests in marine genetics are particularly encouraged.


Project stipend and tuition are likely to be covered by a combination of a Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship from grant funding, and a fellowship from the NSF-funded CREST program at Florida International University (Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment (CAChE)). The research focus of CREST CAChE is to advance transformative research and cutting-edge technological approaches to identify emerging contaminants and understand their multi-scalar impacts at the organismal, population, community and ecosystem level. *Because of the likely CAChE funding, US Citizenship or permanent residency is required.*


Desirable skills: Bachelor's degree in marine science; Experience of conducting tropical fish ecology fieldwork, ideally in the Caribbean; SCUBA diving qualification and AAUS certification, and boating experience; Experience of analyzing ecological data sets; Good communication and organizational skills


Apply by emailing a cover letter (outlining background, expertise, and interests), curriculum vitae, and names of one or two references to Alastair Harborne (<>). Zoom interviews of short-listed candidates will begin in late October / early November. Applications to FIU's graduate school are due in early January.

TFEL is looking to recruit new graduate students who are keen to work on topics relating to coral-reef fish ecology. Please read and consider the following recommendations, then contact Alastair Harborne with an initial enquiry.

  • Read about the research in the lab and have a look at some of the recent publications to make sure they are consistent with your interests

  • Try to suggest some general research topics that you might be interested in working on - these don't need to detailed, but are more useful than saying you "want to work on coral reefs"

  • Please send a CV documenting your qualifications and research experience

  • I value research experience, even if it isn't in coral reef ecology - try to gain research experience wherever possible

  • Graduate opportunities are usually limited by funding - try to investigate funding opportunities such as FIU's TA scheme and NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program

  • Please be aware that FIU does not provide TA funding to MSc students. Therefore, unless Alastair is advertising an MSc position supported by funds from a successful grant application, it is virtually impossible to fund MSc students. Consequently, you will need to identify your own funding if you wish to undertake a MSc with TFEL

Post-doctoral researchers

TFEL welcomes approaches from post-graduate researchers who are keen to work on topics relating to coral-reef fish ecology. Funding is always limited for post-graduates, so please consider potential funding sources such as the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Please contact Alastair Harborne with an initial enquiry.