Drs. Clay Nielsen and Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau seek a Ph.D.-level Graduate Research Assistant to study occupancy and co-occurrence of forest carnivores in southern Illinois. We intend to replicate prior occupancy research in the region (see Lesmeister et al. 2015, Spatial and temporal structure of a mesocarnivore guild in Midwestern North America, Wildlife Monographs 191) to assess carnivore colonization and extinction 10 years following the initial study. Gray fox will be a focal species given its decline throughout the Midwest. Field work will include camera trapping and measurement of habitat variables; data will be analyzed using occupancy modeling techniques. Although this is a research-intensive position, the successful applicant will have opportunities to teach or co-teach university courses. We have funding available to begin a Ph.D. student IMMEDIATELY; given university deadlines, the successful applicant may be first hired as a technician, then transitioned into Ph.D. student status.
The successful applicant will have: (1) obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in wildlife, ecology, biology, forestry, or related fields; (2) applicable field skills including camera trapping and habitat measurements; (3) a driver's license and ability to carry heavy gear long distances in difficult field conditions; (4) exceptional quantitative skills and experience with occupancy modeling; (5) strong oral and written communication skills; and (6) an ability to work both independently and within a team framework with project technicians and fellow graduate students in a highly-productive research laboratory. Interested parties should submit a cover letter, CV (with GPA and GRE scores included), writing sample, and list of 3 references no later than 31 March 2021.