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  • PhD Position Available on Boreal Birds and Climate-Change Refugia (UW-Madison)

    Guest Benjamin Zuckerberg
    • Employer: University of Wisconsin - Madison
      Location: Madison, WI
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/01/2022
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are seeking an outstanding graduate student to lead an exciting study on how boreal forests may serve as climate-change refugia for declining boreal birds. The student’s dissertation will involve (1) quantifying the microclimates and biochemistry of boreal forest sites in northern Wisconsin; (2) performing a field experiment to quantify the quality of foraging and caching sites for boreal birds; (3) conduct targeted boreal bird surveys; and (4) analyze data generated from Wisconsin’s two breeding bird atlases to identify range shifts for a suite of declining boreal birds. Our broader goal is to test, using advanced remote sensing, whether boreal forests provide cooler microclimates and exhibit foliar chemistries optimal for food caching to serve as refugia for declining boreal birds. This is a USDA-funded project in the department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW-Madison and is a collaboration with the WI DNR. The student would be advised by Dr. Benjamin Zuckerberg and co-advised by Dr. Phil Townsend. The 4-year PhD assistantship will begin in the fall of 2022.

    Applicants must have a MS degree in ecology, forestry, geography, or other related discipline. We will only consider applicants with a BS degree if they have proven relevant experience. A solid working knowledge of avian ecology, GIS, and statistics are required.  Although not a requirement, the preferred candidate will have strong experience in field work and familiarity with remote sensing. Excellent English writing and verbal communication skills are essential.

    Review of applicants will begin immediately, but the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Applications received by Feb. 01, 2022 are guaranteed full consideration. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. The position is open to both US citizens and international candidates. The project includes an annual stipend, plus tuition remission and health care benefits. We envision a start date of September 2022, but an earlier start date may be possible.

    UW-Madison has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, remote sensing and geography. The university ranks consistently among the top research universities in the United States.  Total student enrollment is 43,000 of which approximately 12,000 are graduate and professional students, and there are over 2,000 faculty.  UW-Madison is an exciting place to learn and conduct research! The city of Madison ranks as one of the most attractive places in the U.S. to live and work.  For information about campus and city, please see http://www.wisc.edu/about/

    To apply, please submit your application here:


    Please note that submitting an application includes filling out a small survey (< 15 minutes), uploading a cover letter summarizing research interests and experiences, curriculum vitae, and unofficial transcripts or summary of relevant coursework (both undergraduate and graduate).

    After reviewing all applicants, we will ask for reference letters from top candidates.

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