PhD Assistantship: Allometric scaling of behavioral plasticity in African antelope

University of Idaho
Moscow, ID and Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
The student will receive a graduate research assistantship that includes an annual salary of $20,831, tuition, and health insurance benefits for the first three years of the project.
Last Date to Apply
I am seeking an outstanding PhD student to help lead an NSF-funded study of the behavioral and physiological ecology of three species of antelope (bushbuck, nyala, and kudu) in central Mozambique. The student will be part of collaborative team that includes faculty, students, researchers, and managers from the University of Idaho, Princeton University, and Gorongosa National Park. The overarching goal of the project is to shed new light on the mechanisms that govern animal behavior and population dynamics in heterogeneous landscapes by answering three main questions: (1) How does the spatial distribution of resources affect behavioral decisions made by large herbivores of different body sizes, and how does climatic variation influence the scaling of behavior with body size across species? (2) To what degree is behavioral variation state-dependent within the constraints imposed by body size, and how does the influence of physiological condition on behavior scale with body size? (3) How does the spatial distribution of resources interact with both interspecific (mediated by body size) and intraspecific (mediated by physiological condition) variation in behavior to influence survival and reproductive success, and thereby individual fitness and population dynamics, of large herbivores? Research will include capture and handling of all three species of antelope, experimental manipulation of resource distributions, analysis of diet composition and quality, and both statistical and GIS-based analyses of movement and space use. The position will be housed in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Idaho, and the student will be advised by Dr. Ryan Long. Ideally the successful applicant will begin by January, 2018, but later start dates will be considered for the right candidate.
The student should have demonstrated capability for conducting intensive field work in challenging conditions. In addition, preference will be given to applicants with (1) A MS degree (or equivalent research experience) in ecology, wildlife biology, conservation biology, or a related discipline, (2) previous field experience in wildlife ecology and with the chemical immobilization of mammals, (3) strong quantitative and GIS skills, (4) strong written and oral communication skills, evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and professional presentations, and (5) a demonstrated ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a collaborative team. To apply please send in a single pdf, 1) a cover letter outlining your interests, experience, and career goals, 2) a CV, 3) GRE scores, 4) transcripts (unofficial are ok), and 5) contact information for three references to Dr. Ryan Long via email (preferred) at Review of applicants will begin immediately and will continue until a suitable applicant is found.
Contact Person
Dr. Ryan Long
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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