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  • M.S. or Ph.D. – Post-breeding movement ecology of early-successional habitat birds in Pennsylvania, University of Delaware

    Jeff Buler
    • Employer: University of Delaware in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Game Commission
      Location: Newark, DE and field work in central PA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/01/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are seeking a M.S. or Ph.D. (preferred) student to start Spring 2024 to research breeding season and post-fledging habitat use, movement, and survival of Eastern Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Eastern Meadowlark at the Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) in Pennsylvania, USA from 2024-2026. Options exist to start as non-student researcher and convert to a graduate student in Summer or Fall 2024. On the breeding grounds, early successional habitat (ESH) birds can exhibit different behaviors and/or habitat use during different breeding stages that require a mix of forests at different developmental stages. The post-fledging stage, in particular, is a potential “population bottleneck” for ESH bird species. LEAD contains 2,700 acres of intensively managed early successional habitat. We will use a local node system, as part of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, comprised of 350 automated node receivers and two central receiver stations to track the fine-scale movement and survival of radio-marked individual birds. This study will provide greater insight into the post-fledging ecology, area sensitivity, and habitat requirements for ESH birds to help guide habitat management actions.

    Salary: 12-month salary, ~$31,000 for year one, plus a tuition-waiver and reduced cost health benefits. Stipend increases 3% per year. 

    Qualifications: Successful applicants must have a B.S./M.S. in Wildlife Ecology or related discipline focusing on ecology and ornithology and be a US citizen. The successful candidate must have a strong independent work ethic to assure weekly benchmarks are achieved however should have demonstrated they can help oversee a team of researchers assisting with the project. The candidate should also have a strong knowledge of GIS and statistics (ideally using program R) to interact with existing spatial datasets. No GRE scores requried. Please send a cover letter outlining experience and research interests, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to DR. Jeff Buler, via email to jbuler@udel.edu. Review of applicants will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  The final candidate will undergo a federal background check and the hire is subject to final budgetary approval. You will be co-advised by Dr. Jeff Buler, head of UD’s Aeroecology Program (https://sites.udel.edu/aeroecologyprogram/) and Dr. Chris Williams, director of the UD Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird center (https://www.udel.edu/academics/colleges/canr/departments/entomology-and-wildlife-ecology/affiliated-centers/waterfowl-gamebird-center/). Start date is February 5, 2024.

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