Seeking a motivated, independent PhD student to investigate the efficacy of spatial repellents (and other interventions) to protect white-tailed deer fawns from flies that transmit pathogenic Orbiviruses (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus and Bluetongue Virus). Deer fawns are highly susceptible to these viruses at the peak period of transmission, due to a gap in immunity (loss of maternal antibodies, no acquired immunity). Significant fawn mortality is observed annually. The incumbent will design and carry out field studies at deer farms in Florida to test whether interventions can reduce the numbers of biting insects during the weaning period, thereby reducing incidence of disease. The incumbent must be willing to handle white-tailed deer fawns in a tame deer environment.
The applicant must possess a MS degree in entomology, wildlife sciences, biology or related field by fall semester of 2021. The incumbent must be willing to handle white-tailed deer fawns in a tame deer environment. Extensive travel to deer farms and field locations is required. Desirable qualification include: Experience in disease ecology, handling deer or other wildlife, insect identification, field work.
Funding for full stipend and tuition waiver (four years) is contingent upon obtaining competitive fellowship from the University of Florida Graduate School. Interested applicants should contact Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena, prior to application.