PhD Assistantship

I’m looking for a driven Ph.D. student with a strong work ethic to join my Geospatial Conservation Lab at Clark University. The student will work on a collaborative project between Clark University, EcoHealth Alliance, and Universidade Federal do ABC, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

The project “Land use change, ecosystem resilience, and zoonotic spillover risk” aims to understand how habitat loss and landscape structure affect functional diversity, viral diversity, and zoonotic spillover risk; and to understand how forest restoration can reinstate functional diversity, ecosystem resilience, and the provision of disease regulation services.  

We need realistic simulations of deforestation patterns to assess the effect of different deforestation trajectories on zoonotic spillover risk. Thus, the Ph.D student will contribute to developing a land cover change allocation method that incorporates spatial configuration of change, analyzing forest structural change, and empirical modeling of spillover risk.  

To support the above Clark U component of the research, I’m searching for a scholar with the following skills.  

  • Have a master’s degree in Geospatial science, Environmental science, or related discipline. 
  • Have completed independent research during Master’s (E.g., Thesis or research internship)  
  • Strong scientific background and excellent English communication skills (oral and written). 
  • Knowledge of Landscape Ecology and Land Change Modeling  
  • Strong computer programming experience (Matlab, Python, R, or similar)  
  • Proficient in geospatial analysis and modeling 
  • Committed self-starter with a history of solid work ethic and reliable task completion 
  • Productive and dedicated to the completion of tasks assigned within specific timelines.  
  • Detailed oriented  
  • Work both independently and in close collaboration with other team members 
  • Knowledge of Portuguese (not required but useful)  


Interested candidates should email Dr. Florencia (Flor) Sangermano (fsangermano, stating why they are interested in this project, how their skills can contribute to the research, and other relevant experience.   

To qualify for an assistantship, interested candidates will need to apply formally to the Geography Ph.D program under the GIS and remote sensing course of study and be accepted into the program. The complete application package is due December 15th, 2022 (for August 2023 Ph.D program start). GRE is not required to apply. Accepted Ph.D. students are guaranteed tuition remission and graduate assistantships for a minimum of the first three years. I’m committed to increasing diversity and representation of minorities in the discipline; thus, minorities are encouraged to apply.  

More information about the Ph.D. program in Geography at Clark University can be found here: Information on the application process: