PhD Assistantship: Decision support and demographic modeling for wild turkey; University Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
Last Date to Apply
Description: Wild turkey populations in Pennsylvania reached their peaks in the early 2000’s facilitated by a combination of factors including successful wild trap and transfer, lower predator populations, conservative hunting seasons, few exotic wild turkey diseases and a more diverse landscape than exists today. Since then, turkey populations have declined in many Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) across Pennsylvania. Understanding the reasons why populations have declined in some areas of Pennsylvania while not in others requires examining these systems and their interactions, in combination with hen turkey population dynamics, to provide the information necessary to successfully manage turkey populations moving forward.
Management of wild species often involves competing objectives that make it difficult to identify preferred management actions. In addition, uncertainty and timing of decisions can reduce the ability to maximize benefits of management actions. We are seeking a Ph.D. student interested in developing a decision model as part of a large-scale study of wild turkeys in Pennsylvania. The project provides an opportunity to combine field data with computer modeling to inform a decision model for managing wild turkey, to evaluate the effects of hunting decisions on the demography of turkeys, and to evaluate demographics under different ecological conditions.
The student will work with Dr. Frances Buderman, Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management, and Dr. Duane Diefenbach, PA Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
The project includes both tuition support, stipend, and benefits.
Qualified applicants will have experience with the R programming language and some experience with Bayesian modeling approaches. In addition, some experience with structured decision making or adaptive management is preferred.
To apply: Send a SINGLE PDF that contains a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to email@example.com.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received, but are due by 11/30/21.