Post-doctoral researcher; University of Montana, Missoula

Agency
University of Montana
Location
Missoula, MT
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Salary
$55,000
Start Date
01/01/2022
Last Date to Apply
12/20/2021
Website
http://bit.ly/3134umjobs
Description
We seek a highly motivated post-doctoral scholar to examine design of remotely triggered trail camera surveys and the use of camera data for density estimation. Recent advances in the application and analysis of trail camera data provide the opportunity to estimate animal abundance and space use in situations that were not feasible with other sampling methods. Specifically, the space-to-event (STE) models and random encounter (REST) models offer logistically feasible approaches to estimating abundance. Yet, as these are relatively recent advances, questions remain about some details of field implementation and precision of the estimators. Both the STE and RE models assume that cameras are placed randomly within the sampling frame (study area). Random sampling bring numerous statistical advantages including reduced bias toward areas of higher or lower animal density, straightforward scaling across study area size, and direct calculations of sample size needs. Yet, random sample locations can be more difficult to access, more difficult to convince volunteer participants to implement, and may result in fewer animal detections. Therefore, resistance to their field application has been common. Research for this position focuses on models for estimating abundance from camera data, sampling design considerations, power to detect changes in animal density, and application of models to broader camera arrays. LOCATION: University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA APPOINTMENT: up to 2.5 years. QUALIFICATIONS: Required: Must have a PhD in statistics, applied mathematics, ecology, biology, or closely related field by the start of employment. Must also have demonstrated experience publishing scientific papers in the areas of statistics or quantitative ecology. Must have the ability to develop and implement Bayesian statistical models. Highly Desirable: Proficiency with the R language, experience with custom fitting Bayesian models, knowledge of sampling theory. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The postdoctoral researcher will work with Dr. Paul Lukacs and collaborators at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and other project partners to develop and expand models for estimating animal abundance from remote camera data. The post-doc will work to develop sampling designs and analysis methods that improve estimation for deer in areas at risk of chronic wasting disease. The post-doc will also implement the analysis methods with data collected by partner agencies. Expected products include scientific publications, reports, and annotated analysis code. SALARY AND FRINGE BENEFITS: Annual salary is $55,000 plus benefits per University policy (https://www.umt.edu/hrs/Personnel%20Resources/Benefits/default.php). APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Application materials include: 1.) Curriculum vitae, 2.) cover letter describing relevant background and qualifications relevant to the position, and 3.) contact information for 3 professional references. All application materials should be submitted electronically at http://bit.ly/3134umjobs For questions, contact: Dr. Paul Lukacs (paul.lukacs@umontana.edu) DEADLINE: Review will begin Dec. 20, 2021 and continue until filled.
Qualifications
Required: Must have a PhD in statistics, applied mathematics, ecology, biology, or closely related field by the start of employment. Must also have demonstrated experience publishing scientific papers in the areas of statistics or quantitative ecology. Must have the ability to develop and implement Bayesian statistical models. Highly Desirable: Proficiency with the R language, experience with custom fitting Bayesian models, knowledge of sampling theory.
Contact Person
Paul Lukacs
Contact Phone
4062435675
Contact eMail
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