Ecology and movement of black-bellied whistling-ducks in Louisiana
School of Renewable Natural Resources
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
Start Date: Spring 2023 – The student will act as a lead technician starting in February (saves tuition) and will enroll in classes in the fall.
Project Description: Black-bellied whistling-ducks (BBWD) have rapidly expanded their range in the southern United States, and are now common cavity-nesters in Louisiana. Relatively little is known about this enigmatic species, and we lack detailed information on vital rates, breeding behavior, and seasonal movements. The successful applicant will capitalize on and extend an existing 3-year breeding BBWD dataset (~400 nest attempts, >1,500 banded or PIT-tagged individuals) to estimate rates of BBWD box use, nest survival, philopatry, recruitment, and evaluate the demographic impacts of inter- and intra-specific nest parasitism. The student will also have access to the full state agency banding/resight dataset to estimate survival rates, philopatry, etc. During the course of nest monitoring, the student will deploy light-logging geolocators to study seasonal movements and potentially identify nesting attempts not otherwise detectable by other means. This project has plenty of opportunity to be further extended in other directions of student interest (e.g., genetics, behavioral ecology).
This position provides an annual graduate assistantship of $32,000 and full tuition coverage.
Qualifications: Applicants with a M.S. in wildlife biology/ecology are strongly preferred, but exceptional applicants with a B.S. and several years of experience may also be considered. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA, and successful applicants typically achieve a ~300 combined GRE score with ≥4 in writing. Applicants with experience in R and MARK are preferred. The applicant must be able to lift 60 lbs, provide proof of a clean driving record, and pass a background check.
Applications should be a single .pdf that includes a 1-page cover letter (which will serve as a writing sample), CV (with references listed), and unofficial transcripts/GRE scores. Please send to email@example.com with the subject “BBWD application.”
I will start reviewing applications as they are received and will continue until the position is filled. More information on current and past lab activities can be found at https://faculty.lsu.edu/ringelman/index.php