Current Opportunities

Gilt Darter Percina evides

Want to contribute?

The Aquatic Diversity Lab embraces all forms of diversity, whether they be underwater taxa or of a human nature.  We encourage interested students to inquire about joining the lab and strive to be an inclusive and supportive group.

Students interested in furthering their education through graduate study are encouraged to contact Dr. Jacob Westhoff to inquire about opportunities.   Students are only accepted into assistantships when funding is available, so please do not apply to the Graduate School at Mizzou without first contacting Dr. Jacob Westhoff to discuss available positions.

Yes, it is a paid experience

Graduate assistantships in the Aquatic Diversity Lab are covered by project funds and therefore cover student stipend, tuition, and insurance.  The student may be responsible for some fees, but the idea is that the student can approach the experience as a paid job and have the financial coverage to avoid the need for a second job or  significant loans.

Jacks Fork River,  Shannon County, Missouri

Digger Crayfish Creaserinus fodiens and burrow

What we look for in a student

Our graduate program requires a U.S.  bachelor's degree or it's equivalent from an accredited institution.  They also suggest a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester hours and >50% score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE.  However, the GRE is optional and not required to apply.  We will also consider students that may not meet those suggested benchmarks if they have applicable skills and experiences that make them competitive.  Some of the most desirable traits for potential lab members include a strong passion for conservation, ability to work well with other on a team, strong work ethic, interest in applied work, demonstrated strong verbal and writing skills,  extensive field or lab experience,  quantitative capacity, and prior experience conducing research and publishing results.

Join our lab as a graduate student

Check back for M.S. assistantship opportunities

Beaver Dam on small stream

Check back for PhD assistantship opportunities

Join our lab as a full-time Field Technician


Big Piney River Aquatic Organism Passage Project

Job Description

The selected candidate will work with University of Missouri graduate students and faculty and the U.S. Army to help determine fish passage around a water intake structure on the Big Piney River located within Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  The primary duties include sampling and tagging stream fish, tracking fish using various techniques, and maintenance of remote antenna. The candidate will be required to use an assortment of fisheries sampling techniques and equipment including Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) and telemetry tags, seines, and electrofishing. The position will require collection of field habitat data, use of data loggers, laboratory and office tasks including data entry, equipment maintenance, and other duties as assigned. The ability to work independently with limited supervision is critical. The position is grant funded through the MU School of Natural Resources but will be housed at MU in Columbia. The position is renewed annually (based on funding and satisfactory performance) for a minimum of 2 years with likely extensions.

Start date: flexible; about January 2024 or earlier.

Salary: 33,000 to 35,000, plus benefits

Minimum Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent and at least 2 years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary

Preferred Qualifications

BS degree in Fisheries & Wildlife/Natural Resources or similar field; experience working outdoors and independently, interacting with various collaborators, operating motorized watercraft, and steam fish sampling experience. 

Application Materials

MU application, Resume, Cover letter

To apply, follow the linked job description to the University of Missouri Job Search Portal.  Then, search JobID 48859.  You must apply through the website.   Applications accepted until Oct 30; however, applications will be reviewed as they are received, and interviews may start as early as October 15.  

Contact Jacob Westhoff with questions about the position.

Join our lab as a summer technician

No summer technician postitions are currently available

Aquatic Diversity Lab at the University of Missouri - Dr. Jacob Westhoff