Description: A Doctorate of Philosophy graduate research assistantship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri (www.snr.missouri.edu). The student will use state-of-the-art tracking devices deployed at sites representative of the entire wintering range of an Arctic-nesting bird, the Greenland white-fronted goose, to quantify nesting propensity, which is believed to be the driver of the global population decline of these birds. Based on tracking devices currently on individuals, we anticipate collation of millions of data points providing examples of individual decision-making. From these data, the student will explore, for the first time, site use and exchange among wintering flocks of Greenland white-fronted geese. This will allow the student to link movement rates and population trajectories of wintering flocks to quantify the extent to which movements are determining wintering flock dynamics. Together, these features allow unprecedented opportunities for the student to engage partners throughout the entire Greenland white-fronted goose range for improved conservation initiatives. This project is an international partnership among Aarhus University (Denmark), Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland), Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (UK), and University of Missouri.
Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate degree in statistics, wildlife ecology or a closely related field, and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field experience (e.g., handling birds). Competitive applicants will have an undergraduate GPA > 3.4, quantitative GRE scores that average in the 70th percentile or higher, and a GRE analytical writing score > 4.0. Students must have a valid driver’s license. The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.
Salary and benefits: Approximately $25,000 per year, with an expected annual increase, health insurance and course waiver (i.e., the student will not pay tuition).
Start date: August 12, 2019
To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Letter of interest summarizing your experience
Curriculum vitae or resume
College transcripts (unofficial are fine)
GRE scores (unofficial are fine)
Contact information for three references