We are recruiting an ambitious Ph.D. student to evaluate the population demography and spatial ecology of eastern wild turkey in southeastern Oklahoma as part of a collaboration between the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Recent wild turkey population declines and apparent low recruitment have prompted questions regarding potential causes.
We will examine nest success, nest site characteristics, cause-specific mortality of poults and hens, as well as space use of poults and hens. The student will use GPS and VHF transmitters to assess population dynamics by estimating vital rates, determining cause-specific mortality, and using integrated population modeling techniques to model population growth. Also, the student will assess spatial ecology of nesting and brooding hens and use camera trapping to index predator density. Opportunities to address other research questions exist, depending on the interests of the student.
Funding is available for 3 years while working towards a Ph.D. degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. The student will be expected to work closely and collaboratively with biologists from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, private landowners, researchers from collaborating universities, and other M.S and Ph.D. students on this project. The Ph.D. position includes a graduate stipend of $23,500 annually (with potential for merit based increases), resident and non-resident tuition waiver, and health insurance at $25 per month (for student only; family coverage is available for an additional fee).
The student will conduct research in the Chitwood Lab, which works on a wide range of research projects in wildlife ecology and management, with an emphasis on the ecology of game species and carnivores. The Chitwood Lab is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and fostering an environment where diversity is accepted and encouraged. The Chitwood Lab encourages all interested people to apply despite preconceived notions of their own experience as it relates to this project’s objectives.
Start Date: Funding is available to support the student as a technician on the project as early as spring 2023. Though the technician position is not required, it would allow the student to assist with spring/summer nest monitoring and brood capture before starting the Graduate Assistantship.
Institutional Information: Oklahoma State University (OSU) is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, which is within an hour of both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. OSU is a land-grant institution with an enrollment of ~25,000 students, and it is located on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo, Osage, Kiowa, and Quapaw peoples. Indigenous people from other Native nations also reside here, many of whom were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands.
They all contribute to the history and current vitality of our region. The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management is part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and conducts interdisciplinary research, instruction, and extension education to address the sustainable management and conservation of the wildlife, forest, rangeland, and fishery resources of Oklahoma and beyond.
The Department is a source of cutting-edge research, quality instruction, and effective outreach to students, landowners, managers, and public agencies. Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check. Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action.
Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions.
Qualifications: Minimum Qualifications: •M.S. in wildlife management, natural resources, ecology, or a closely related discipline •Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater (as required by the Department and Graduate College) •Previous field and animal handling experience •Experience planning and coordinating daily field activities •Experience conducting independent research •Highly motivated with a strong work ethic •Ability to walk/run over rugged terrain, sometimes in extreme conditions (heat, cold) •A valid US driver license (without restrictions)
Desired Qualifications: •Strong interest in the ecology and management of game species •Have taken the GRE •Experience capturing and handling wild turkey • Experience with radio telemetry • Experience with R • Experience with technical writing and/or publication.
To Apply: Please combine the following into a single PDF file: (1) a 1–2-page cover letter that details why you are interested in this position, your most relevant experiences, and your professional goals/aspirations; (2) a Curriculum Vitae; (3) contact information for 3 references (i.e., name, affiliation, email, and phone number); (4) unofficial GRE scores; and (5) unofficial transcripts.
Please include your last name in the title of the PDF. Send the PDF file as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 14 April 2023 with the subject line of the email titled “Turkey Ph.D. Position.” Electronic (email) submission of applications is encouraged but mail is also fine; mailed applications should be postmarked by 14 April 2023 and sent to Colter Chitwood, 008C Agriculture Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. Please note that application review will begin immediately upon receipt, so interviews may be offered before the closing date of 14 April 2023.
Contact Person Dr. Colter Chitwood Contact eMail email@example.com