The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University is seeking candidates for a graduate research assistantship (M.S.) in Wildlife Sciences to take the lead on a research project examining impacts of an invasive species on native faunal populations. As part of a multi-year and comprehensive project designed to examine the impacts of wild pigs on wildlife, water quality, soil, and other environmental and ecological parameters, the chosen candidate will focus his/her M.S. thesis research on the impacts of wild pigs on populations of white-tailed deer and wild turkey. The study will take place on 4 sites ranging in size from 5,000 - 10,000 acres in central Alabama, where three of these sites will serve as treatments and one will serve as a control. The study design will allow for parameters of interest to be collected for 12 months prior to complete eradication of wild pigs from the treatment sites, and data will continue to be collected for an additional 24 months following eradication efforts. This design will allow for examination of impacts before and after eradication on the treatment sites, as well as in comparison with the control site. The student selected will be responsible for collecting and analyzing comprehensive biannual camera surveys of deer, turkeys, and pigs, deer and turkey harvest data, and physiological data from white-tailed deer on these sites. Initial collection of these data began in January of 2018, and will continue through the completion of the project. The position will be available beginning in January 2019. A stipend of $16,540 and a full tuition waiver is included with the assistantship.
Applicants should possess a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology or related field, a strong work ethic, and field experience. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but every attempt will be made to select a candidate by 1 August. Interested applicants should send a single PDF containing a cover letter outlining their qualifications for the project, copies of transcripts and GRE scores, and contact information for at least 3 references to Dr. Steve Ditchkoff. Please ensure that all application materials are in a single PDF. E-mail – Steve Ditchkoff: firstname.lastname@example.org. Application materials should be sent by e-mail.