Ph.D. assistantship in Avian Physiological Ecology

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship

Ph.D. assistantship in Avian Physiological Ecology (beginning September 2018) on an NSF- and USDA- funded project that focuses on how diet and nutritional requirements affect the spatial ecology and exercise performance of songbirds during migration stopover. The work includes measuring diet composition and fatty acid composition of depot fat in migrating songbirds, and conducting experiments with wild-caught songbirds that focus on how dietary antioxidants influence diet choice, metabolism, and exercise physiology of migratory birds. Most fieldwork will be conducted on Block Island (ca. 15 km off the mainland), Rhode Island. Captive animal facilities are on the University of Rhode Island’s main campus in Kingston.

Only hard-working, motivated, intelligent, good-natured persons interested in birds need apply.
Applicants must have at least a 3.2 GPA and must have taken the GRE.  Field experience with passerine birds, experience in physiological ecology and quantitative analyses, and a BSc degree in a relevant field of biology is required.  Ability to work collaboratively and to supervise research assistants and undergraduates working in the field is also required. Experience with captive birds, standard laboratory analysis techniques, and an MSc degree in a relevant field of science would be big pluses. Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required. Stipends are approx. $25,000/yr (a combination of RA & TA), tuition is paid, and an additional summer stipend is provided.

To apply submit the following: a letter stating your qualifications and research interests, resume or CV, college transcripts, GRE scores, and 3 letters of reference by no later than 15 January 2018 (early application is encouraged!) to Dr. Scott R. McWilliams, Dept. Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881 (401-874-7531;

Graduate students will be trained in the Ecology & Ecosystem Science graduate specialization within the Biological & Environmental Science graduate program ( at URI. This is an interdepartmental graduate group within our College of the Environment and Life Sciences ( that is designed to provide students with a strong, interdisciplinary and integrative learning environment.