A MS graduate research assistantship is available in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University to examine the impacts of predatory birds on the survival and production of farm raised shrimp. The objectives of this research are to 1) assess the distribution and abundance of shrimp-eating birds on shrimp farms in Alabama, 2) quantify the diet of these predator birds, and 3) estimate the total abundance of shrimp consumed annually by predatory birds. The graduate student will conduct bimonthly ground surveys (counts and behavioral observations) from approximately April to September each year to determine the distribution and abundance of predatory birds on shrimp farms in west Alabama. A sample of these predatory birds will be collected and stomach contents will be analyzed to estimate shrimp consumption. This project will require frequent overnight travel to conduct field research and work under adverse (hot, night, rainy etc.) weather conditions. This project is a cooperative effort among the Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the USDA National Wildlife Research Center-Mississippi Field Station.
B.S. in wildlife, fisheries, biology, or closely related natural resource field. A strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills, math and statistics knowledge desirable, and ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team. The student must be comfortable with the use of firearms (advanced training will be provided) and conducting bird necropsies. Must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA and competitive GRE scores (e.g., >150 on Verbal and Quantitative). Expected start date is January 2020.
Submit by 1 November: 1) cover letter stating interests and career goals, 2) transcript(s) and GRE scores (unofficial copies fine), 3) resume/CV, and 4) full contact information for 3 references to:
Dr. Mark D. Smith
W. Kelly Mosely Environmental Professor/Extension Specialist
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University, AL 36849