Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship – Population genomics of wild turkey in Oklahoma

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Successful applicant will pursue a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Rangeland Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK). The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is a research unit of the university, with 18 scientists and about 45 M.S. and Ph.D. students. TAMUK has an enrollment of about 8,000 and is located in Kingsville, TX, a city of about 26,000 in the south coastal plains. Kingsville is surrounded by the historic King Ranch and is about 40 miles south of Corpus Christi, TX. Field research will be conducted on private lands in western Oklahoma.
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$2,000/month plus benefits (medical package has a 60-day waiting period). Non-resident tuition is waived; tuition assistance provided to cover resident tuition cost.
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The wild turkey is a popular game bird and a conservation success story, having been restored throughout much of its former range. However, recent population declines have prompted concern about the long-term viability of regional populations. Concerns include isolation of local populations and hybridization between distinct genetic stocks. Successful applicant will use genomic tools to 1) determine how fragmentation and landscape features influence gene flow and genetic diversity among populations of turkeys in Oklahoma, and 2) determine spatio-temporal patterns of hybridization and introgression between genetic stocks founded by the Rio Grande and Eastern wild turkey subspecies. The successful applicant will be encouraged to work with the Principle Investigators to design additional research questions that appeal to their personal interests within the broader scope of the study. This research is part of a collaborative study with Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Results of this study will have direct input into applied management as well as contribute to our understanding of the factors influencing neutral and adaptive genetic variation in managed species. Successful applicant will be co-advised by Drs. Evan Tanner and Randy DeYoung and work with other graduate students and field research technicians in collaboration with scientists from Oklahoma State University. This is a fully funded, 4-year position. Successful applicant will have the opportunity to present research at regional and national scientific conferences and to stakeholders and will be expected to publish their results in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Application Deadline: Begin reviewing applications as received and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. To Apply: Application packet must consist of 1) cover letter stating interests and career goals, 2) resume or CV, 3) academic transcripts, and 4) contact information for 3 references. Send the application as a single PDF file via e-mail with a subject line of ‘Population genomics of wild turkey PhD assistantship’ to: Evan P. Tanner, PhD Meadows Endowed Chair of Semi-arid Land Ecology Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363 Email:
B.S. and M.S. degrees in ecology, wildlife science, range science, biology, or related fields. Competitive applicants will have a strong work ethic, quantitative skills, good verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to work independently as well as a productive member of a research team. Ability to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles and conduct field research under challenging conditions. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (>3.5 GPA in graduate course work). Familiarity with genetic or genomic tools and programming skills (R, SAS, Python, etc.) would be helpful but is not required. Preferred: background and interest in avian ecology, landscape genomics, or use of genomic tools to understand complex demographic histories of wildlife, such as metapopulation dynamics, hybridization and introgression, or selection. Males aged 18 through 25 must be properly registered with the Federal Selective Service System to be eligible for employment. Texas A&M University-Kingsville is committed to excellence; the University invites applications from all qualified applicants. EEO/AA/ADA
Contact Person
Dr. Evan P. Tanner
Contact eMail
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