Overview of the position: Bats are an integral component in many ecosystems, providing valuable services such as agricultural pest control, pollination and seed dispersal, and human pest determent. Currently, numerous bat species in temperate North America are suffering from declining populations due to the reduction of roost sites and foraging potential from habitat loss, wind energy development, climate change and the introduction of disease. Although some information is known about critical habitats and the behavior of various bat species in the eastern region of the continent, much less is known about the general ecology and habitat needs of bats in western North America. Therefore, conservation efforts targeting bats in the West often lack the information necessary for making optimal management decisions and are typically modeled after eastern bat species.
The Bernard Lab is recruiting a graduate student to capture and radio track Myotis septentrionalis, Myotis lucifugus, and Perimyotis subflavus to answer a variety of questions that will aid in the conservation and management of three SGCN species within Wyoming. The specific goals of the project are to 1) determine if the three species use habitat on Camp Guernsey Military Base (Wyoming, USA), 2) locate and characterize roosts sites used by the three focal species, and 3) characterize habitat within the Base’s boundary to determine important habitat and microclimate components that may influence roost selection in the region (i.e., habitat assessment).
The student will be conducting research on Camp Guernsey Military Base and camp at nearby state parks or national forest land while capturing and tracking bats. The project is funded by the Wyoming Military Department and the student will have opportunities to interact with biologists from Wyoming Game and Fish and the Wyoming Military Department.
I am seeking a MSc student who has earned their undergraduate degree in biology, zoology, wildlife and fisheries science or related field. Students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Funding includes tuition waiver, health benefits (http://www.uwyo.edu/risk/smi/), and a graduate assistantship stipend (~$16,000/year) for 2.5 years.
Start date: The ideal candidate would begin their field season May 2021 and start course work August 2021.
To apply: Submit a single PDF labeled as Lastname_GradApplication.pdf containing 1) a cover letter [this should include a description about your academic career thus far, why you are interested in this project/lab group/working with bats, and your career goals], 2) a CV or resume, 3) the name and contact information of 3 references, 4) unofficial transcripts, and 5) a writing example if available. Applications or questions about the position should be sent to Dr. Riley Bernard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until filled.
Statement on Diversity:
Diverse research groups, including those that are diverse in knowledge, experiences and identities, increases productivity and creativity. The Bernard Lab is strongly committed to increasing the representation of traditionally excluded groups and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive research lab here at the University of Wyoming.
The University of Wyoming values a wide range of cultural perspectives, experiences, and opinions that are important for educational excellence and critical for preparing students for future success (http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/_files/odei-strategicplan2018-r5.pdf). For questions regarding diversity, please feel free to contact Dr. Bernard.
• BS/BA in biology, zoology, wildlife and fisheries science or related field.
• Experience conducting field-based research
• Experience working collaboratively in teams as well as independently
• A valid driver’s license and ability to drive long distances to field sites
• Experience studying bats, including radio tracking and vegetation surveys
• Rabies vaccinated and federally permitted to capture and handle Myotis septentrionalis
• Experience or interest in quantitative analysis
• Experience or interest in habitat management and conservation of imperiled species