PhD Graduate Assistantship: University of Montana

Avian Science Center/University of Montana
Missoula, Montana
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$20,000-$24,000 per year
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Avian Science Center (, part of the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana (UM), invites PhD applicants to participate in an ongoing research study describing avian assemblages (e.g., species richness, diversity, composition) of migratory species in a grassland/sagebrush system near Roundup, MT. Overarching goals of this work are to 1) improve understanding of the ecological patterns that drive short- and long-term temporal and spatial dynamics of migratory songbird populations and 2) use this knowledge to inform avian conservation management, policy, and implementation. Research focus includes, but is not limited to, linking the effects of multi-scale ecological conditions such as grazing treatments and climate to temporal changes in songbird distribution and demographics. Position requires someone highly interested in advancing quantitative methods to understand community structure and dynamics. Site-specific data on distribution and abundance of songbirds is available since 2013, data collection is planned through 2020. PhD student will be involved with remaining years of data collection.

The project is in collaboration with concurrent Sage Grouse Initiative efforts including collaboration with greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and arthropod research studies being conducted at the field site. Additional partners include: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, Intermountain West Joint Venture, Northern Great Plains Joint Venture, and US Fish and Wildlife-Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Anticipated start date is no later than Fall 2017.
Applicant must have a minimum of BS/BA in wildlife biology, biology, ecology, statistics, or a related field. Strong quantitative skills and programming experience in R (or a large desire to learn these skills) is highly preferred. The position requires supervisory and decision-making skills, the ability to work independently and within a team. Experience working with multiple stakeholders, especially private landowners and natural resource agencies is highly desired.

How to apply:
Interested individuals should email Dr. Victoria J. Dreitz ( by March 31st the following information as 1 attached file (pdf is preferred) with “PhD Songbirds” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed above receipt, but the position will remain open until filled:
1) Cover letter outlining research interests, academic and professional background
2) Resume/CV
3) Copies of transcripts and GRE scores (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
4) Names and contact information for 3 references. Only individuals who meet the minimum suggested requirements for a PhD student in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana will be considered (see website for more details: ).
Contact Person
Victoria Dreitz
Contact eMail
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