Ph.D. Position in Fish Physiology at Oklahoma State University

Posted on September 27, 2023
Expires: April 01, 2024

The Shaughnessy Lab in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University is recruiting two Ph.D.  students (Ph.D. in Integrative Biology) to start either Spring or Fall 2024.

Research Environment: The Shaughnessy Lab ( takes a broad approach to studying osmoregulation and stress and the endocrine programs involved in regulating them. We integrate investigations at the molecular, cellular, organ, and organismal levels to gain mechanistic insights into physiological function, and we conduct our research across evolutionary and translational contexts.

Research in the Shaughnessy Lab spans three themes: (i) investigating ion channel function and pharmacology in the context of cystic fibrosis, (ii) investigating ion transporters, ionoregulation, and endocrine control of osmoregulation in an evolutionary context, and (iii) investigating the origins and evolution of vertebrate neuroendocrinology. Our primary research models include primary airway epithelial cells, model mammalian and non-mammalian cells, and a variety of fishes spanning vertebrate evolution (including hagfishes, lampreys, sharks, sturgeons, and salmonids). Graduate students are encouraged to develop projects within or across any of these themes and experimental models according to their interests. Students in the lab will have opportunities to gain experience with a wide range of laboratory and experimental techniques including cell culture, live animal work, electrophysiology, molecular and cellular biology, microscopy, and bioinformatics.

The Shaughnessy Lab is committed to fostering an environment where students and trainees from different backgrounds and perspectives feel a sense of belonging and thrive.

Stillwater, the University, and the Department: The town of Stillwater, located an hour away from both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, offers an exceptional quality of life with a vibrant community and a low cost of living. Oklahoma State University is a large, land-grant institution with an enrollment of about 20,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The Department of Integrative Biology is comprised of over 25 faculty plus numerous active adjunct and emeritus members, ~70 graduate students seeking M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Integrative Biology, and ~1000 undergraduates majoring in Biology, Physiology, and Zoology. The department participates in cutting-edge and collaborative research, offers high-quality instruction and training, and is committed to broadening participation and promoting a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

Salary and Benefits: Graduate students in the Department of Integrative Biology are supported by teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Graduate assistantships include 9 months of support of approximately $23K (Ph.D.), and the additional 3 months of summer support of approximately $7K (Ph.D.) are provided by the principal investigator. Benefits include tuition waiver and health insurance.

Qualifications: Applicants should meet the following requirements: (i) hold a B.S. and/or M.S. in biology, or a related field, and (ii) have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Prior experience with either laboratory research (e.g., pipetting, making chemical solutions, cell culture) or aquatics research (e.g., working with fishes in freshwater or seawater tanks) is preferred but not required.

How to Apply: Interested students should contact Dr. Ciarán Shaughnessy prior to submitting an application for graduate study to the university. If interested, please email Dr. Shaughnessy ( and include a single PDF containing the following: (i) a brief (one-page) personal statement including a personal narrative, your experience/interests in research and graduate study, and your future career goals, (ii) curriculum vitae or resume, including names and contact information for three professional references, and (iii) unofficial transcripts. Please note: the university no longer requires GRE scores.

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