Project title: Spatial ecology of waterfowl and waterbirds in relation to aquaculture development and key habitats in southern New England.
A graduate assistantship is available at the Ph.D. level to study the distribution, abundance, and movement patterns of selected waterfowl in coastal saltponds and bays in southern New England. Satellite radiotelemetry will be combined with extensive land-based and Unoccupied Aerial Systems (drones) surveys to determine (a) current distribution and movement patterns of waterfowl and waterbirds in coastal waters of southern New England, (b) the temporal pattern of these movements in relation to aquaculture development and key habitats, (c) the route and destination of waterfowl departing New England and migrating to their breeding areas, and (d) how daily movement patterns and habitat use of waterfowl and waterbirds are affected by aquaculture development. This study is part of a larger university-state agency-federal agency collaborative effort to designate areas suitable for aquaculture development while attempting to minimize or avoid impacts to key natural resources.
Qualifications: Only hard-working, motivated, intelligent, good-natured persons interested in waterfowl and waterbird ecology and movements need apply. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in animal/wildlife biology or ecology, earned at least a 3.2 GPA, and must have excellent oral and written communication skills. Field experience with waterfowl capture and handling, censusing waterfowl or waterbirds, satellite telemetry, and GIS is highly desirable. Experience with quantitative analysis and field research is required. Applicants who have successfully completed a relevant M.Sc. are preferred. Ability to work collaboratively and to supervise research assistants and undergraduates working in the field is also required. Stipends are approx. $25,000/academic year, tuition is paid, and an additional summer stipend of approx. $10,000 is provided. Starting date is either September 2020 or January 2021.
To apply submit the following: a letter stating your qualifications and research interests, a resume or CV, college transcripts, and 3 letters of reference by no later than 10 December 2019 (early application is encouraged) to:
Dr. Dr. Peter Paton & Scott R. McWilliams
Dept. Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
Graduate students will choose to be trained in the Ecology & Ecosystem Science graduate program (http://web.uri.edu/cels-gradprograms/ees/) or the Integrative & Evolutionary Biology graduate program (http://web.uri.edu/cels-gradprograms/ieb/) at URI. These are interdepartmental graduate groups within our College of the Environment and Life Sciences (http://web.uri.edu/cels/) that are designed to provide students with a strong, interdisciplinary and integrative learning environment.
Selected candidates will be asked to apply to the Graduate School of University of Rhode Island.