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PhD Opportunity on Avian Communities in Sagebrush Ecosystems–eastern Montana


University of Montana - Avian Science Center


Missoula, Montana


United States

Last Date to Apply:

15 Mar 2018
Open until filled


The Avian Science Center (http://www.cfc.umt.edu/asc/), part of the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana (UM), invites PhD applicants to participate in ongoing research describing avian communities in sagebrush ecosystems. Overarching goals of this work are to 1) improve understanding of the ecological patterns that drive short- and long-term temporal and spatial dynamics of avian populations and 2) use this knowledge to inform sagebrush ecosystem management, policy, and implementation. Research focus includes, but is not limited to, linking the effects of multi-scale ecological conditions such as grazing treatments and climate to temporal changes in the distributions and demographics of single and multiple avian species. Position requires someone highly interested in quantitative ecology such as modeling community structure and dynamics to understand direct and indirect species interactions. Local-scale data collected near Roundup, MT exists on distribution and demography of multiple avian populations and is available since 2013. Additional data collection is planned through 2020. PhD student may be involved with remaining years of data collection.


The project is in collaboration with greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) research being lead by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and migratory songbird research being conducted by the Avian Science Center. Additional partners include: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Intermountain West Joint Venture, Northern Great Plains Joint Venture, Safari Club International, and US Fish and Wildlife-Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Anticipated start date is no later than Fall 2018.


Applicant must have a minimum of BS/BA in wildlife biology, biology, ecology, statistics, or a related field. Strong quantitative skills and programming experience in R (or a large desire to learn these skills) is highly preferred. The position requires decision-making skills and the ability to work with multiple natural resource stakeholders.


How to apply:
Interested individuals should email Dr. Victoria J. Dreitz (asc@umontana.edu) the following information as 1 attached file (pdf is preferred) with “PhD Sagebrush” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt until the position is filled:
1) Cover letter outlining research interests, academic and professional background
2) Resume/CV
3) Copies of transcripts and GRE scores (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
4) Names and contact information for 3 references.
Only individuals who meet the suggested minimum requirements for a PhD student in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana will be considered (see website for specific details including suggested minimum requirements: http://www.cfc.umt.edu/WBIO/ )