We are seeking two outstanding candidates for PhDs to join a multi-national collaborative study on conservation corridor efficacy for small mammals and mesocarnivores. Conservation corridors are the most frequently cited intervention to safeguard biodiversity in light of ongoing anthropogenic land use and climate change. However empirical evidence of their functionality is primarily derived from theory and small-scale experimental systems. That evidence does not prove corridors will work at the scale and context in which they are designed to function. With funding from a consortium of private foundations and major funding provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Environmental Research Council, we have collected genetic samples from >3000 individuals of nine species, from 14 corridors in 6 countries. Field data are still being collected and processed, and we anticipate having ~6000 samples from 16 corridors in 8 countries once complete. In addition, we have capture, mark, recapture data for most landscapes, and a robust set of covariate data available for use. More information on our efforts to date and the overall experimental design of the study are available at our project website (https://www.docorridorswork.com/).
The incumbent candidate(s) will develop genetic data sets to measure geneflow across corridor connected patches relative to isolates and intact reference areas. In addition to genetic lab work, there will the opportunity for travel and field work. At least two sites will require active field work to collect additional tissue samples via live trapping of wildlife. The successful candidate will also travel with our mobile genetic lab to sites in Kenya and India to work with local project collaborators to collect genetic samples in situ with ongoing trapping efforts. Training will be provided in application of all techniques, but a strong background in genetics is preferred.
Funding is secured and the incumbent(s) will be supported for at least the first year of their studies on an RA. Students will be advised by Dr. Andrew Gregory at the University of North Texas (https://research.unt.edu/), an R1 research university located in Denton, Texas (https://www.discoverdenton.com/). In addition, students may choose to be co-advised by project partners or Co-I’s with backgrounds relevant to their specific thesis questions (see project website for more information on project partners and Co-I’s). Top candidates will be invited to UNT prior to an official offer being made.
Applicants with an MS degree (or equivalent experience) in population, conservation, or landscape genetics are greatly preferred, but all qualified applicants will be considered. The ideal candidate will have experience with one or a combination of the following genetic approaches: microsatellite analysis, sanger sequencing, SNP analysis, next generation/whole genome sequencing, or genotype by sequencing. Experience with GIS, R, and Python are desirable. Applicants must also have strong quantitative, analytical, and writing skills. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups in STEM.
Funding is secured and available. The successful candidate can begin work as early as this spring/summer. The anticipated start date of graduate studies would be fall 2023.
To apply, please send a resume/CV and cover letter detailing your experiences and qualifications for the position. Please address all correspondence and send all materials as a zip folder to Dr. Andrew J. Gregory (firstname.lastname@example.org).