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  • PhD position in grassland avian ecology & conservation

    • Employer: Kansas State University
      Location: Manhattan, Kansas
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    I hope to recruit a PhD student to join the Boyle lab at Kansas State University in January 2019 (preferably, although summer 2019 is possible) to develop a project focused on the mechanistic drivers of population regulation of birds dependent upon grasslands—one of the most threatened and climatically variable biomes. The project would be conducted at the nearby, beautiful Konza Prairie biological station, and contribute to and utilize long-data collected as part of the Konza Prairie LTER program. Although I encourage each student to develop the themes the most interest them, the project would generally focus on topics at the interface of basic and applied questions in ecology, revealing the importance of direct and indirect effects of weather on the population dynamics of a declining guild over the spatial scales relevant to birds’ full annual cycle. We are actively collaborating with Trevor Hefley and his students in the statistics department to integrate these multiple datasets using novel modeling techniques. I anticipate that the project will involve extensive fieldwork, involve use of technologies for tracking movements of individuals, and mentoring and supervision of undergraduate researchers and technicians. The most competitive applicants will either have completed a MSc, or have developed their skills and interests via employment, internships, or other experiences. Some of the skills I think are useful for success in this kind of project and program are competency in core avian ecology field methods, an aptitude for independent critical thinking, some degree of self-knowledge (why do you want to go to grad school? [many right answers here]) and strong writing skills. Facilities and expertise in the KSU Division of Biology will provide opportunities to develop skill sets ranging from various physiological and quantitative methods, the use of stable isotopes, GIS, genetic and genomic methods. The incoming student will join a very active, collegial group of graduate students, post-docs, and professors in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology section.

    If this sounds like the position for you, please email me at aboyle@ksu.edu explaining why you are interested in this position and please attach your CV. I enourage prospective students to learn about the Division of Biology’s graduate program and discover the top 10 reasons to attend grad school at K-State.

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