We are seeking two motivated graduate students (1 MS, 1 PhD) in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University to spearhead a project focused on understanding the impacts of land management on breeding birds. These positions are fully funded and will be supervised by Dr. Jonathon Valente and Dr. Christopher Lepczyk.
The projects will involve a substantial field component, and successful candidates will have experience conducting avian point counts, supervising personnel, interacting with landowners, and be comfortable working in remote settings. Candidates should also have a strong interest in population modeling and experience with statistical tools and techniques will be valuable.
The overall goal of the research project will revolve around understanding how breeding birds have responded to historical management activities on state-owned lands and predicting future responses of avian communities. However, selected students will be encouraged to develop their own research questions within the scope of this project, which could revolve around source-sink dynamics, habitat selection, predictive modeling, species distribution modeling, fragmentation, management, integrated population modeling, and methodological development.
This research is being conducted as part of a larger multi-taxa effort to understand how management activities impact biodiversity. Selected students will have the opportunity to collaborate with a large team of AU faculty and graduate students, and biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The project will involve field-based sampling in 6 ecoregions (Interior Low Plateau, Southwestern Appalachians, Ridge and Valey, Piedmont, Southeastern Plains, and Southern Coastal Plain) throughout Alabama, the most biodiverse U.S. state east of the Mississippi River.
The position start dates are flexible but will ideally begin either the Fall semester of 2023 (August 16th) or the Spring semester of 2024 (January 10th). Prospective candidates should be highly motivated, interested in developing field- and computer-based skills, and have a strong background in one or more of the following areas: ecology, biology, zoology, wildlife, population modeling, species distribution modeling, or a related field.
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- Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, Biology, Ecology, Zoology, or other closely related field
- Strong communication skills in oral and written English
- Ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
- Self-motivation, a positive attitude, and strong interpersonal skills
- Applicants for the PhD position will be ranked higher if they have an existing MS degree in Wildlife, Biology, Ecology, Zoology, or other closely related field
- Experience presenting and publishing peer-reviewed research
- Experience working with government agencies
- Experience with logistical coordination of field work and personnel, avian point counts, population modeling, species distribution modeling, Bayesian data analysis, GIS software, and the R statistical programming language
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested individuals should contact Dr. Jonathon Valente (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Christopher Lepczyk (email@example.com) with any questions. To apply, please state “Avian PhD Assistantship Position” in the email subject line to both addresses and include (1) a cover letter that states why you are interested in and qualified for the position, (2) a CV, (3) unofficial transcripts, (4) contact information for 3 references, and (5) TOFEL scores if applicable. Applications are due by May 31st, but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible because applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.
Contact Person: Jonathon Valente; Contact eMail firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about our graduate program can be found here: https://cfwe.auburn.edu/graduate-study/graduate-degrees/
These positions are fully funded and will be supervised by Dr. Jonathon Valente (https://www.JonathonValente.com/) and Dr. Christopher Lepczyk (http://cfwe.auburn.edu/profile/christopher-lepczyk/).
Salary: $24,000/year (MS) and $28,000/year (PhD) plus tuition remission and benefits
Last Date to Apply: 05/31/2023