QuantitativeEcology is a Research Lab in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. It focuses on the application of advanced mathematical, computational and statistical tools to any number of problems spanning from modeling population dynamics to quantifying spatial patterns and species interactions. Quantitative ecologists often apply some combination of deterministic and/or stochastic mathematical models to theoretical ecological questions and commonly depend on sophisticated methods in applied statistics, mathematics and computer programming.
Our research aim is to exploit the potential of information found in increasingly larger and more complex data sets using mathematical equations, conceptual graphics, and model development. While quantitative ecology can deepen our understanding of the world, the field commonly requires strong analytical and creative problem-solving skills. QuantitativeEcology is committed to developing scientists with these skills and collaborating with other researchers and organizations devoted to quantitative analyses and rigor, open enquiry, and enhancing our understanding of ecological systems.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship (PhD) at NAU
Restoration of frequent-fire forests in the Southwest relies on tree
thinning and prescribed fire to reestablish structure and process to create
more resilient ecosystems. Fundamental to the design of restoration
treatments are the understanding of neighborhood- or fine-scale spatial
patterning, successional trajectories following treatments, the role of
plant interactions, and how these factors impact ecological processes. New
remote sensing platforms have recently been attracting more attention,
especially (handheld) mobile laser scanning which has proven to be a fast
and efficient tool for collecting forest structural data. The
Sánchez Meador Lab
Forest Biometrics and Quantitative Ecology
School of Forestry
at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ is
currently seeing applicants for a
PhD graduate teaching assistantship
focused on developing new approaches data processing and fusion,
exploration of new methodologies and algorithms, and the enhancement of the
widely available remote sensing datasets such as airborne lidar and
multispectral imagery to explore successional dynamics following
disturbance and spatially-explicit neighborhood effects in
conifer-dominated forests of the Southwest.
The position includes a full stipend, tuition waiver, and health
benefits for three years. The successful applicant and Dr. Sánchez
Meador will pursue additional funding depending on project details and
Applications from passionate creatives with a quantitative and analytical
approach to solving complex problems are encouraged. Desire and experience
to design and conduct observational and/or experimental studies that
requires field work, logistics planning, oversite of a field crew, and
extensive backcountry camping are positives; as well as proficiencies in
forest ecology, applied statistics, programming languages such as R and/or
Python, excellent oral and written communication skills, and an ability to
work independently and to manage multiple responsibilities and deadlines.
Ability to meet all requirements for admission to the School of
Forestry PhD program
Master’s degree in forestry, geography, data science, or a related
Demonstrable research experience, collaboration abilities, and
excellent English (written and oral) communication skills.
Experience as a college-level teaching assistant in forestry,
environmental or natural sciences.
Coding proficiency in R with experience managing and analyzing large
Comparable enthusiasm for field work at remote sites and demanding
benders of analyses sitting/standing in front of a computer.
Experience in spatial mapping of trees, processing of remote sensing
datasets like airborne and mobile lidar, processing dendrochronology or
understory/overstory biomass samples, and/or using maximum likelihood for a
model comparison framework.
Information about NAU’s graduate program, including eligibility
requirements, is available at
However, interested candidates are encouraged to contact with Dr. Sanchez
Meador as soon as possible using the information provided below or submit
your CV, a brief written statement of interest, and copies of unofficial
degree transcripts to initiate a dialog via e-mail.
Dr. Andrew Sánchez Meador
School of Forestry
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018, USA