Funded Ph.D. Graduate position in Water Quality Modeling

Ph.D. graduate student assistantships in Water Quality Modeling are available in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University ( We invite highly motivated graduate students with interests in investigating water pollution issues in a coupled human and natural system. This position will be supported by an NSF-funded research project entitled “CAREER: Understanding the dynamics and predictability of land-to-aquatic nitrogen loading under climate extremes by combining deep learning with process-based modeling.” The successful candidates will apply process-based modeling, deep learning, big data synthesis, and data-model integration to study water quantity/quality and other hydro-ecological questions. This position aims to prepare trainees for a diverse range of career paths as they gain expertise in Hydrological, Ecological, and Environmental Sciences. We will provide candidates with plenty of opportunities to work with a group of scientists with different expertise, including hydro-ecological modeling, water quality monitoring, deep learning, and agricultural economics.

We expect a flexible enrollment for new graduate students, from as early as Spring 2021 to Fall 2021. The applicants should possess a degree in hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology, geography, earth system science, remote sensing, or related fields. Quantitative skills and experience in terrestrial ecosystem/land surface modeling, remote sensing, and big data analysis are preferable. Students can apply for this position through the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program ( or the Environmental Science Graduate Program ( or the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Graduate Program ( at Iowa State University (General application for Fall semester enrollment is due January 15, 2021). Please contact Dr. Chaoqun Lu ( in advance for more details.

The students will be funded through the NSF project for two years at least, supplemented with additional fellowship and TA opportunities, which include tuition coverage, benefit, and a stipend of $2,100 per month. The required application documents include a cover letter (outlining their qualifications and research interest), a resume, transcripts, TOFEL, GRE scores (waived by ENVSCI program this year), and three reference letters.

Iowa State University is located in Ames, IA, with access to outdoor recreations and dedicated faculty doing nationally and internationally renowned research. The Ames community is consistently ranked as a top place to live.