The successful applicant will be tasked with providing a comprehensive ecological understanding of mule deer migration in Utah by quantifying individual migratory behavior across multiple populations and environmental conditions. The student will dedicate most of their time and effort to analyzing existing individual-based positional data collected from hundreds of GPS-tracked does across Utah. This is a collaborative project between the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Tal Avgar’s research group at USU, where we focus on understanding the causes and consequences of wildlife movement and habitat-use patterns.
Minimum qualifications: BSc in ecology, wildlife biology, conservation biology, mathematical or statistical ecology, or related fields. Applicants must be admissible to the PhD Ecology program at USU. Competitive applicants will have: MSc (in ecology, wildlife biology, conservation biology, mathematical or statistical ecology, or related fields), experience conducting statistical analysis of spatial data in R and/or Python, presenting and publishing ecological data, and working collaboratively with agency and academic scientists, and a strong capacity to develop and apply quantitative models of animal space-use behavior. Applicants should email the following materials, as a single pdf file, with the subject line “Deer PhD Assistantship” to email@example.com no later than July 4th, 2020: (a) one page cover letter describing relevant experience, interests, and professional goals, (b) CV, (c) scientific writing sample (an academic paper or report written primarily by the applicant), and (d) contact information for three professional references. Priority will be given to applicants belonging to under-represented groups, including (but not limited to) Native/African/Latino Americans, LGBTQ+, women, and first-generation college students. Consideration of interested applicants begins July 1st, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.