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We are seeking a postdoctoral scholar to conduct research as part of a NSF-funded project centered around quantifying the impacts of the North American ‘megadrought’ on carbon-water cycling. The postdoc will contribute to this effort by synthesizing data from large soil moisture and flux tower networks, tree-ring chronologies, remote sensing products, and model output. We invite applications from candidates with strong analytical skills, proficiency in managing large datasets, and a background in environmental science, ecology, or related disciplines. Experience working with data from eddy covariance towers, tree-rings, and/or remote sensing is preferred.


The North American megadrought is a climate crisis that has had widespread ramifications for both natural ecosystems and human society, including causing extensive vegetation mortality, depletion of water resources, and increased wildfire severity. The postdoctoral scholar will play a key role in developing our spatial and temporal understanding of the megadrought’s impacts on soil moisture, particularly deeper moisture pools critical for vegetation health, and on the broader dynamics of carbon and water cycling.


The postdoctoral scholar will be supervised by Dr. Steve Kannenberg in collaboration with Dr. Mallory Barnes (Indiana University). This position will preferably be based in Morgantown, West Virginia, but remote or hybrid options will be considered for exceptional candidates. This is a 12-month position at a salary of $62,000 with an additional 12 months of funding pending satisfactory performance, with the possibility of extension based on the availability of funding. The start date is flexible, though summer or fall 2024 is preferred.


To apply, please submit the following via this link: 1) a letter of application that explains how this position fits your experience and goals, 2) your curriculum vita, and 3) names and contact information of at least three references. We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting May 1, 2024. Please submit all materials before that deadline for full consideration. Inquiries regarding the position should be sent to Dr. Steve Kannenberg (

Please reach out if you are interested in pursuing external fellowships, such as:

Grad students

1-2 Ph.D. student positions are available! Research in the lab is centered around understanding the health and functioning of plants in the face of global change, with a particular focus on western US drylands and eastern US temperate forests. To do so, we integrate physiological methods, tree rings, eddy covariance, and vegetation modeling. Incoming students are expected to develop their own research projects in these areas. Importantly, we strive to promote a fun, supportive, and enthusiastic lab environment that encourages an atmosphere of shared intellectual development.

These positions guarantee a $32k stipend for 5 years (contingent on satisfactory progress towards degree completion) through research assistantships, fellowships, or teaching assistantships. The preferred start date is August 2024 or January 2025. Interested applicants should contact Steve ( prior to submitting an application, and include a CV along with 2-3 paragraphs detailing: 1) their research experiences, and 2) why they are interested in the lab. Students are encouraged to apply for internal and external fellowships, and Steve would be happy to help develop proposals.

More detailed information about the WVU Biology graduate student program is available at: The GRE is not required to apply. Although we accept students on a rolling basis there is a January 31, 2023 deadline for university-wide fellowships ( The Department of Biology at WVU has a strong core of faculty members with expertise in forest ecology and biogeochemistry, and is in close proximity to world-class research sites including the WVU Research Forest and the Fernow Experimental Forest ( Morgantown, West Virginia is a medium-sized college town that offers a low cost of living and bountiful access to a variety of outdoor activities.


Financial support for graduate students is typically available for 5 years through teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Students should also consider applying for various WVU fellowships, the NSF GRFP, or the Fulbright Foreign Students program. Please note the admission requirements.


Undergraduates who are interested in working or volunteering in the lab should contact Steve or another lab member.

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