We are seeking a diverse and creative Ph.D. candidate to join our lab and examine how natural history of mule deer and climate interact to influence population dynamics and space use. In particular, how can we better inform management decisions to maintain healthy, productive populations? Over the past 7 years, Brigham Young University has collaborated with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to capture and GPS collar nearly 4000 individual mule deer across the State of Utah from the Mojave Desert region in the southwest portion of the state to high-elevation montane habitats in the northeast. Captures will continue into the foreseeable future to maintain approximately 1,300 animals with active collars. In addition, there has been significant effort to recapture a subsample of animals each December and March to determine body condition at the beginning and end of winter from representative regions across the state. Finally, time has been devoted to locating each mortality that has occurred within 48 hours of death to determine probable cause of death. These data along with various climatic variables will be used to help understand different limiting factors for mule deer across Utah and develop strategies to improve population management.
This research will be a collaborative effort with Brock McMillan and Randy Larsen at Brigham Young University, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The successful candidate will participate in all aspects of the project including idea development, animal captures, data collection/management, data analysis and publication of results. In addition to facilitating the goals of the larger project, the candidates selected will also be encouraged to develop their own independent research within the context of the larger project.
M.S. Degree in wildlife ecology or closely related field. Demonstrated experience in population or spatial ecology. Interested applicants should send a single pdf file containing curriculum vitae, a 1-2 page statement of research interests, copies of relevant publications, and contact information for three references.