Description: The Kelley Behavioral Complexity Lab in the Department of Zoology & Physiology at the University of Wyoming is seeking one Master of Science (M.S.) student to begin in Fall 2023. The ideal candidate will have a strong background and interest in developing novel questions related to the behavioral ecology of Neotropical birds. The student’s project will be a part of the Panama PLUMAS Project, which explores the interactive effects of precipitation and land-use (e.g. fragmentation) on morphology, behavior, demography, and community structuring in birds.

The ideal candidate will have a strong appreciation of natural history, a creative approach to scientific inquiry, as well as an interest in applying emerging technologies (i.e. machine learning, deep-learning) to field-based studies of complex behavioral interactions (predator-prey, competitive dynamics, communication networks). The student will also have an opportunity to contribute to development of new sampling and statistical tools as well as analysis and publication of previously completed projects.

The incoming student will join a vibrant lab group of six graduate students and 4-10 undergraduate students. The incoming student will serve as a Teaching Assitant for Fall and Spring terms and will conduct research in Panama during the Summer. Tuition, fees, and health insurance costs will be covered.

Qualifications Skills and degrees: The successful candidate should have an undergraduate degree in a biology-related field (or combined biology and computer science) and at least one year of field research experience. Students with some coursework and practical experience with statistical programming (R and/or Python) and machine learning are encouraged to apply. Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Preference will also be given to applicants with some experience in writing manuscripts.

Application timeline and procedure: Applications are due Friday, 14-March-2023. To apply, submit a single PDF containing the following components: [1] a cover letter (2 page maximum) that includes a description of your academic background and future plans and why you are interested in joining the Panama PLUMAS Project, [2] a legible and organized curriculum vitae, [3] the name and contact information of three references (but please do not request letters at this time), and [4] unofficial transcripts (a PDF download from your undergrad university’s registrar office). If you are an international student, please include your TOEFL scores in your cover letter.

Applications (and other inquiries) should be sent to Dr. Patrick Kelley ( To ensure that I do not overlook your application, please include “Kelley Lab application” in the subject line. Contact Person Patrick Kelley Contact eMail

Salary $28000 total compensation

Start Date 08/15/2023

Last Date to Apply 03/14/2023


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