MS Assistantship: Social behavior and movement ecology of nilgai antelope – TEXAS

Agency
Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Location
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 will be conducted on private lands in the South Texas region.
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
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 may be available from other sources.
Start Date
08/15/2017
Last Date to Apply
06/21/2017
Website
https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/
Description
Nilgai are an exotic antelope introduced into South Texas from India. They have flourished and established a large, free-ranging population near the US-Mexico border. Nilgai are an important recreational resource, but increasingly cause human-wildlife conflicts because of their ability to serve as hosts for cattle fever ticks. The presence of nilgai in the US-Mexico border region and their ability to move long distances through rangelands have greatly complicated efforts to eradicate cattle fever ticks from the US. Cattle fever ticks can infect cattle with babesia, a parasite that causes cattle fever and significant losses to the cattle industry. The USDA has maintained a permanent quarantine zone along the Texas border to prevent re-infestation of the US since the 1950’s. Controlling cattle fever ticks on nilgai is difficult because nilgai do not respond well to bait or food attractants, a standard way of delivering acaricides to wildlife. Two aspects of nilgai behavior have potential for adaptation to cattle fever tick management purposes, but have not been investigated: use of communal latrines and their tendency to create and re-use holes in livestock fences to move between adjacent ranches. Successful applicant will use a combination of infrared cameras and genetic markers to estimate the proportion of the population that uses latrine sites and fence crossings between adjacent ranches, and the timing and frequency of use. The results of the study will be used to evaluate and develop control and containment strategies for cattle fever ticks in the south Texas region.
Qualifications
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 or GIS skills would be helpful but is not required. Preferred: background and interest in ecology of large mammals, animal behavior, or wildlife disease ecology. 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

Start Date: Fall semester 2017.

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: r.deyoung@tamuk.edu
Contact Person
Dr. Randy DeYoung
Contact Phone
361-593-5044
Contact eMail
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