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Two Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships in Gambierdiscus/Ciguatera Studies, University of Texas at Austin

The Erdner lab is looking for two motivated undergraduate students for a 10-week summer fellowship.

This fellowship is supported by the NSF-funded PIRE project (Advancing Global Strategies and Understanding on the Origin of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in Tropical Oceans). Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) poses a threat to resources from coral reef ecosystems (estimated to affect more than 10% of island populations globally and the most prevalent non-bacterial seafood illness worldwide). The ciguatoxins causing CFP are produced by the benthic dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus living on macroalgae. Herbivorous fish will feed on these macroalgae inhabited by Gambierdiscus and bioaccumulate the toxin. As part of the project, the Erdner lab is working on describing benthic microalgae communities with a focus on dinoflagellates and specifically Gambierdiscus. As part of their lab-based fellowship, students will learn molecular techniques (such as DNA extractions and PCR) to process samples previously collected. The applicants do not require prior experience in molecular techniques.

The Erdner lab is committed to mentoring young scientists and developing a diverse marine science research community. Women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. The University of Texas is an equal opportunity institution.

The fellowship includes a $6,800 stipend for 10 weeks, housing will be provided and travel costs from and to Port Aransas (Texas) will also be covered.

  • Job Type: Internship
  • Application deadline: 04/16/2023
  • Organization: University of Texas at Austin, The Erdner Lab
  • How to apply: Please submit your application to Dr. Heiser ( using the email subject “Summer Fellowship”. The application should include: (1) a short cover letter outlining why you are interested in the project; (2) your resume; (3) your academic transcript (official or unofficial), and (4) contact details for two references. Applications should be submitted by 16th of April.
  • Location: Port Aransas, TX

Contact Information

Sabrina Heiser
University of Texas at Austin, Erdner Lab

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