Wind Facilities and Insects – Wyoming

University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$16,440 per year plus tuition waiver and student health insurance
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Department of Zoology and Physiology, and the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database at the University of Wyoming are hiring an MS student to review literature about the state of knowledge on wind energy and insects. Bats, raptors and songbirds respond to wind energy in various ways, including avoiding, colliding and attraction to turbines, but few studies directly investigated interactions of insects and wind energy. Insects collide with turbine blades reducing the power produced by up to 50% at wind speeds >12 m/s, so conserving insects should improve energy production. Insects are attracted to the white color of turbine bases and their vertical structure, and they may be attracted by the heat produced, lighting, and location (e.g. hilltops) of turbines. Additionally, vertebrates may be attracted to wind farms by the presence of increased insects (Foo et al. 2017; Rydell et al. 2011). Thus, if we understand the relationship between insects and wind development, we may conserve insects, reduce vertebrate wildlife mortalities in the vicinity of turbines and increase the power produced by wind turbines. The student will be based at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and begin in January 2021. The project is fully funded including stipend, tuition and health insurance for 2 years. Student may assist with other fieldwork during summer months. Links:
Students with a strong research background in ecology, entomology, wildlife management or related field and excellent writing skills will be given first consideration. Superior applicants will have well-rounded backgrounds in entomology and renewable resources, and experience writing or publishing. Desirable qualifications include demonstrated comprehensive and research skills, self-motivation, organized and the ability to work independently and as a team. Applicant must have strong interests in conservation and working with natural resource agencies. Selection will be based on application, GPA, experiences and letters of recommendation. To apply, please send an email to Dr. Lusha Tronstad ( that contains the following: (1) cover letter describing credentials and professional goals; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) email address and phone number for three references; and (4) a copy of university transcripts. Formal application to the graduate program at University of Wyoming, including official transcripts, is required subsequent to selection of the successful candidate. Inquiries about the position are welcome. Email cover letter, CV and references as one document.
Contact Person
Lusha Tronstad
Contact eMail
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