Browse below for openings to join our dynamic team! We seek motivated, creative, and hard working candidates to make the AEL a great place to work and learn.


Postdoctoral Associate in Freshwater Biogeochemistry


Drs. John Lenhart and Jim Hood at The Ohio State University (OSU) are searching for a post- doctoral scholar to work on a project sponsored by the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI) related to the sources, patterns, and fate of colloidal phosphorus in western Lake Erie and its watershed. This project is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort led by Dr. Hood along with John Lenhart (OSU, CEGE), Michael Brooker (OSU, FABE), Justin Chaffin (OSU, SENR), Ben Colman (University of Montana), Laura Johnson (Heidelberg University), and Vinayak Shedekar (OSU, FABE). This position is fully funded for two years and three months. The anticipated start date for this position is late 2022.

Background & Specific Focus

The size of reoccurring harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie are largely driven by bioavailable phosphorus (P) loading from non-point sources in the western Lake Erie watershed. Understanding and management of these cyanobacteria blooms is premised on the assumption that soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) is dominated by orthophosphate and 100% bioavailable to phytoplankton. Yet, earlier work suggests that colloidal P, which is P associated with 1–450 nm particles and less bioavailable than orthophosphate, could make up ~50% of SRP delivery to western Lake Erie. A lack of information about colloidal P transport and dynamics in the western Lake Erie watershed limits understanding of the delivery and cycling of bioavailable P to Lake Erie; this could negatively affect P reduction efforts to manage harmful algal blooms. This project seeks to (Obj. 1) characterize colloidal-P concentrations in agricultural ditches, rivers, wetlands, and Lake Erie; (Obj. 2) quantify colloidal-P speciation and its potential for transformations (P binding & release) between the edge-of-field and Lake Erie; and (Obj. 3) quantify the bioavailability of colloidal-P. The successful candidate would focus primarily on objective 2, but also support work done in object one and three.

Primary Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of the postdoctoral scholar will be to:

  • Participate in collection and processing of river, wetland, and edge-of-field samples for determining colloidal-phosphorus speciation.
  • Conduct field- and laboratory-based experiments evaluating the binding and release of phosphorus from natural colloids.
  • Use synchrotron-based X-ray, Raman and infrared techniques to characterize phosphorus speciation in natural colloids.


Required qualifications:

  • PhD in limnology, environmental engineering, environmental science, biogeochemistry, or related field
  • Experience with techniques and procedures associated with environmental biogeochemistry, natural colloids/nanoparticles, or freshwater nutrient cycling
  • Strong publication record demonstrating the ability to conduct independent research projects

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with related phosphorus cycling techniques and procedures
  • Experience with X-ray absorption spectroscopy

To Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, a personal statement describing research interests, career goals, and relevant experience; a current CV; and contact information for three professional references to Jim Hood (hood.211@osu.edu) by 28 November 2022.

Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other basis under the law.

Full position announcement [pdf]


Independent Study

The Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (AEL) is interested in energetic, committed undergraduate students who are interested in conducting independent research, for OSU credit, that focuses on ecologically oriented projects in freshwater ecosystems. For all projects, we ask students for, at minimum, a commitment of one year. For more information, please contact Drs. Stuart LudsinElizabeth Marschall, or Jim Hood

Work Study

We are looking for qualified students to fill work-study positions at the AEL. Specific tasks for our Work-Study students include field sampling, in-lab sample processing, and data entry. We strive to ensure that Work-Study students also have opportunities to participate in lab and field research associated with other ongoing projects. AEL graduate students and faculty are committed to educating Work-Study students in the art of scientific research in a cooperative and supportive work environment. 


We seek highly qualified, enthusiastic graduate students that are creative, motivated, and capable of working well both independently and cooperatively. Successful candidates would join a dynamic, interactive group of graduate students, post-docs, visiting scholars, and faculty at The Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (AEL) within the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (EEOB). Interested applicants should check back for postings (usually in late summer or early fall) or reach out to Drs. Stuart LudsinLibby Marschall, or Jim Hood


None at this time.


None at this time.