PhD Assistantship – Deer Population Modeling

I seek an energetic and motivated Ph.D. student to join an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, students and state agency personnel who are working to integrate biological, ecological, and sociological aspects of deer management in Indiana. The successful applicant will conduct dissertation research focused on estimation and modeling of deer populations. Specifically, population-level data will be collected from multiple study landscapes replicated in three socio-ecologically different regions of the state using aerial infrared imagery, remotely triggered ground-based camera imagery, and fecal pellet counts. Data will be combined into integrated population models with available age-at-harvest records, prior data on fawn survival, and region-specific indexes of fawn predation risk. To inform management decisions, the successful applicant also will be involved in modeling the relationship between deer population size and data collected by others on societal attitudes/values and ecological condition of habitat in the study landscapes.
The position is budgeted for 4 years beginning no later than mid-August 2018, with an initial annual stipend of $23,310, a tuition waiver, and health insurance. Excellent support for infrastructure, logistics and professional development is available including necessary equipment, travel to meetings, field and logistical assistance from a full-time project coordinator, an academic-year field coordinator, and undergraduate student technicians, and academic and career mentoring from faculty investigators, the state deer biologist and Extension specialists.
Required qualifications include GPA of 3.2 and strong GRE scores. Strongly preferred qualifications include a M.S. degree in wildlife, ecology, natural resources, or related field. Experience conducting aerial, remote camera, and/or pellet-based sampling is desirable, as are strong quantitative skills and experience with population and statistical modeling, preferably in R. 
To apply: Prospective applicants should send via email a brief letter of interest and CV (including GPA, GRE scores, and contact information for references) with “Assistantship” in the subject line to Rob Swihart Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Purdue University is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer.
About Purdue: Purdue is a land-grant university of over 40,000 students and ranked the 5th best public university in the U.S. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue is an easy drive from Indianapolis and Chicago. The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) is housed administratively in the College of Agriculture (#8 world ranking), emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches across a broad spectrum of natural resource sciences, and offers vibrant, nationally ranked graduate programs in wildlife and ecology. The West Lafayette-Lafayette area is home to a diverse community of 174,000, with good schools, safe neighborhoods, over 40 parks and extensive trail systems, active Farmers Markets, and year-long community festivals and art events.
Rob Swihart
Professor of Wildlife Ecology
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
PH: 765-494-3575