An M.S. graduate assistantship is available beginning January 2020 in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University to study the movement ecology of Alligator Gar. The successful candidate will begin course work at Texas A&M University in spring 2020 with two years of guaranteed support. The aim of this project is to study movement dynamics of Alligator Gar in mainstem and tributary streams of the lower Brazos River, Texas. This work will be conducted in collaboration with a post-doctoral research associate and will utilize sonar tags, stationary submersible ultrasonic receivers, and mobile telemetry conducted with a hydrophone. The primary focus will be determining home range size, habitat associations, and movement rates for up to 50 Alligator Gar. Collection of gar in the field will involve the use of gillnets deployed from a boat and sonar tags will be surgically implanted in the field, after which fish will be monitored for up to 2 years. The student will interact frequently with state collaborators and lab members. The student will also have the opportunity to present their research at scientific meetings in addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
The successful candidate will have: (1) A Bachelor of Science in ecology, biology, fisheries, or closely related fields, (2) experience with field work and capturing/identifying fishes, (3) strong quantitative and writing skills (GRE >300 for quantitative + verbal; 4 or greater for writing), (4) ability to work independently, (5) ability to work in remote settings and hot conditions, and (6) demonstrate capacity to work with inter- and intra-network collaborators. Applicants should be self-motivated, have a strong work ethic, and will be expected to maintain initiative in advancing the project. Experience with independent research, presentations of previous research projects, coding in the R statistical environment, and using GIS are also desirable skills; however, much of this will be learned or reinforced during the project.