PhD position in infectious diseases ecology and modeling. Spatial/temporal models. Data analysis/programming. Epidemiology/GIS

Are you interested in understanding why epidemics occur in some places but not others? PhD student positions are available for Fall 2019/Spring 2020 to conduct research in the areas of biogeography and ecology of infectious diseases. The intended research will use spatial modeling and other analytical tools to study infectious diseases affecting humans and wildlife. Potential research topics include rabies, vector-borne diseases, mange, and others. In addition to research work, responsibilities will include acquiring teaching experience, raising extramural funding for international internships and research work, and mentoring of undergraduate students. We are seeking highly motivated students to be part of a research team investigating diseases using theory and methods from ecology and biogeography. Preference will be given to candidates with evident passion for these topics and quantitative and writing skills.
The positions are based within Dr. Luis Escobar at the Laboratory of Disease Ecology and Biogeography, in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, which is affiliated to the Global Change Center and part of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment, the No. 1 ranked natural resources program in the US (by USA Today) for three years running.

Applicants must have a strong work ethic; quantitative, oral, and written communication skills; high attention to detail; the ability to work independently and collaboratively within a culturally diverse team; and capacity to work long hours. A prior MS in ecology, epidemiology, or related biological or data/health sciences and history of scientific publications are required.

To apply
Send a single pdf including: 1) a cover letter of no more than two pages that highlights your research interests, interest in graduate school, interest in infectious diseases, and why we should consider your application; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) unofficial transcripts; 4) sample of scientific writing (e.g., a manuscript in preparation, an undergraduate thesis, published manuscript as the first author); and 5) contact information for 3 references who can explain your research skills and interests. References will only be contacted after applicants are notified.

Contact Person
Contact Dr. Luis Escobar at for additional questions and to submit your application.


PhD position
Virginia Tech
United States
Closing date
August 26th, 2019
Posted on
April 26th, 2019 18:10
Last updated
April 26th, 2019 18:10