Open positions

**This is the first of two graduate assistantships related to the Sustaining Pastoral Systems project. We will also be hiring a postdoctoral researcher trained in a social science field.**

PhD Assistantship in soil health and pastoral grassland ecology in the French Pyrenees

We are recruiting a PhD student to study the soil health and ecosystem ecology of pastoral agroecosystems in the French Pyrenees as part of an US-NSF-funded project with collaborators in France and Spain. The student will be enrolled at the University of Georgia, USA but will spend significant field time in the French Pyrenees and be co-advised by Rebecca McCulley (U Kentucky) and Aaron Thompson (U Georgia). The project uses transdisciplinary approaches (co-production of knowledge with farmers and other stakeholders) to understand and predict how climate, policy, and social change will impact the socioecological system of pastoralism that is deeply rooted in Basque culture. This student will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of social and natural scientists from the US, France, and Spain and be responsible for quantifying soil and plant ecosystem health and stocks across a range of active and abandoned pastures. The student will also be expected to assist and co-train in social science data collection and interact with climate/agroecosystem modelers.

Desired qualifications include experience with a variety of soil and plant measurements, knowledge of and interest in pastoral systems, strong statistical, oral and written communication skills, demonstrated effectiveness working in diverse teams and independently, experience conducting remote field work, and an MS degree in a related field of study. Proficiency in French and English are required with proficiency in Spanish preferred.

Candidates should send their CV and a cover letter to Aaron Thompson ( with PASTORAL PhD in the subject line. To learn more about our research groups, please visit and Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified, but please return an application by November 15, 2022 for full consideration. The assistantship can start as early as January 2023 or as late as August 2023. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.