Selective harvest has the potential to affect the distribution of phenotypic traits in wild populations. In species of large mammals, managers have voiced concern about the potential for negative effects of harvest on population fitness, for instance by removal of males with large antlers or horns. Alternatively, management practices aimed at selective removal of individuals with undesirable phenotypes via culling are widely touted as a route to genetic improvement of antler size in populations of deer and other cervids. Unfortunately, our understanding of the effects of selection in wild ungulates is lacking. Most inferences derive from unreplicated observational studies or modeling. Previous studies have found that genetic variation in the immune system (the major histocompatibility complex, MHC) was associated with antler size. Therefore, selective harvest has the potential to affect genetic variation for multiple traits. Successful applicant will analyze an ongoing, long-term experimental manipulation of selection on antler traits in wild deer and use a combination of Sanger and next-generation sequencing to quantify the effects of selection on adaptive genetic variation in white-tailed deer.
B.S. in ecology, wildlife science, biology, or closely related field. Applicants must have a strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team. Applicant must be able to work under adverse conditions (unpredictable weather, long hours). Good interpersonal skills are required to work closely with diverse group of biologists, cooperators, and private landowners.
Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and competitive GRE scores. Prior experience with large mammals or laboratory skills would be helpful but is not required. Preferred: background and interest in ecology of large mammals, population genetics, sustainable harvest management. Males aged 18 through 25 must be properly registered with the Federal Selective Service System to be eligible for employment. Texas A&M University-Kingsville is committed to excellence; the University invites applications from all qualified applicants. EEO/AA/ADA
Stipend/Salary: $1,500/month plus benefits (medical package has a 60-day waiting period). Non-resident tuition is waived (resident tuition and fees apply). Partial tuition assistance will be available from other sources.
Start Date: negotiable; prefer Fall semester 2017
Location: The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, located in Kingsville, TX. Kingsville is surrounded by the historic King Ranch and is about 40 miles south of Corpus Christi, TX. Field portion of the project (deer captures) will be conducted on rangelands near Eagle Pass, Texas.
Application Deadline: Begin reviewing applications on 21 June and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. To apply, send via email a single PDF file that includes: 1) a cover letter stating interests and career goals, 2) resume or CV, 3) transcripts, 4) GRE scores, and 5) contact information for 3 references to:
Dr. Randy W. DeYoung
Research Scientist and Associate Professor
Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 700 University Blvd, MSC 218
Kingsville, TX 78363; 361/593-5044 email: email@example.com