I am recruiting a Ph.D. student to join my Quantitative Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Lab at the Washington State University to work on a study examining the spatial ecology, resource and prey selection, and species interactions of Cascade red fox. The Cascade red fox is a rare subspecies endemic to Washington State, where it occupies alpine and subalpine habitats of the Cascade Range. Ongoing climate change may affect the Cascade red fox through changes to the seasonal phenology of resources and weather conditions, as well as possible elevational range expansion of coyotes into alpine and subalpine regions where they may outcompete or kill the smaller fox. This study is part of a collaborative effort, and the student will work closely with biologists at Mount Rainier National Park (Dr. Tara Chestnut), Cascades Carnivore Project (Dr. Jocelyn Akins), and other collaborators.
This project will include summer and winter fieldwork on snowmobiles, backcountry skiing, and hiking in remote, rugged terrain throughout the Cascade Range in southern Washington, and involve capture, collaring, and tracking foxes. Other facets of fieldwork may include capture and collaring of coyotes, scat collection, small mammal trapping, and sampling of vegetation and other food resources.
Funding will include a combination of teaching and research assistantships (with teaching assistantships including a 9-month ~$18,000 stipend per year plus full tuition and benefits). The student will also apply for additional grant and fellowship funding in collaboration with Dr. Manning.
An M.S. degree in wildlife biology or related field, strong academic record, and previous fieldwork experience are required. The student must work well in a collaborative team as well as independently and be able to manage a multi-faceted field project with summer and winter fieldwork. Strong quantitative skills and a record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals are highly desirable.