Description: The Merkle Research Group in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is looking for a highly motivated, creative, and quantitative Ph.D. student to lead a project studying exploratory movement behavior. The successful applicant will be admitted through the Program in Ecology and Evolution at University of Wyoming and be based in Laramie (USA).

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to shape specific research questions within a broad theme of the ecology of exploratory movement behavior. Specifically, the applicant will study where, when, and why animals engage in novel spatial behaviors (e.g., going to new places) as well as the costs and benefits of such behaviors such as adjusting to habitat disturbance. The successful applicant will be analyzing previously collected GPS collar data on individual mule deer monitored for multiple years across multiple populations.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a B.S. and preferably a M.S. degree in Ecology, Biology, Wildlife, or related field. Applicants with experience managing and analyzing large spatial datasets (including remote sensing and animal movement data) in program R, working independently and with a team on research projects, working with wildlife managers, and publishing peer-reviewed research will be favored.

Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a collaborative team environment, co-produce high-quality research with wildlife managers, present their work at professional conferences, and publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed journals. A graduate assistantship will be provided, which includes tuition and benefits, and an annual stipend of $26,400.

To apply, please email a SINGLE PDF file that includes 1) a detailed cover letter outlining, at a minimum, quantitative experience and interest in studying exploratory movement behavior, 2) a CV, 3) contact information for three references, and 4) unofficial transcripts to Jerod Merkle ( Review of applicants will begin 20 March 2023. Start date is negotiable but late August 2023 is preferred. Contact Person Jerod Merkle.

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