PhD studentship: Development of full annual cycle models for Arctic-nesting geese

University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$35,000 Canadian per year plus compensation for tuition and fees
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A PhD studentship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan ( The student will use state-of-the-art tracking devices deployed on mid-continent white-fronted geese to conduct research in movement and population ecology. This project is an international partnership among the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Environment and Climate Change Canada, US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and University of Saskatchewan. Our project goals are to quantify habitat use and the degree of inter- and intra-winter movements of white-fronted geese within and among wintering sites, and assess the extent to which variation in migration attributes (e.g., staging and wintering habitat use) explains variation in nesting propensity and reproductive outcomes. We anticipate the student will explore bird decision-making during subarctic staging, which is a relatively unknown period of the annual cycle. Based on tracking devices currently on individuals, we anticipate collation of millions of data points providing examples of individual decision-making. Using multi-year data, the student will develop full annual cycle models for the first time for these birds, yielding novel opportunities for conservation planning.
Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate and master’s degree in statistics, wildlife ecology or a closely related field, and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field skills (e.g., capturing and handling birds). Students must have a valid driver’s license. The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings. To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman ( (1) Letter of interest summarizing your experience, (2) Curriculum vitae or resume, (3) University transcripts (unofficial are OK), (4) Contact information for three references.
Contact Person
Mitch Weegman
Contact eMail
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