M.Sc. Assistantship – Effects of wildlife feeding on wildlife and plant communities

Subject: M.Sc. Assistantship – Effects of wildlife feeding on wildlife and plant communities

Wildlife feeding has become common practice across much of the terrestrial landscape. However, little empirical data have been presented to determine how those practices affect the community structure and function. We seek a highly motivated student to fill a fully funded M.Sc. position in the lab of Dr. Marcus Lashley. This research is part of a larger project (3 M.Sc.
positions) to evaluate how food subsidies such as supplemental feeding and baiting affect wildlife, associated diseases, arthropod vectors, and plant communities. The successful student in this position will be responsible for evaluating the indirect effects of subsidies on plant community structure via direct effects on the wildlife community. In particular, the student will be measuring wildlife community responses with camera traps, and the legacy effects of herbivory and directed seed dispersal on plant communities in relationship to feeder locations. Also, the student will be expected to participate in generating material for the MSU Deer Lab social media platforms. A stipend for living expenses, tuition and health insurance are provided.
Required Qualifications: B.S. in Ecology or closely related field.
Successful completion of the FAA UAS training will be required within the first semester. Possess or obtain a driver’s license. Ability to work in teams or individually in secluded and remote, hot and humid conditions, where most organisms want to sting, bite, or puncture you.
Preferred Qualifications: Strong plant identification, quantitative, and written skills are desirable. Strong interpersonal skills, fun attitude with a good sense of humor, and desire to promote research and technology transfer through peer-reviewed publications, social media, and public speaking. Experience with camera trapping and piloting unmanned aerial vehicles.
Interested applicants should submit via email a cover letter outlining your interest in the project, a current curriculum vitae, contacts for three references, and an example of writing (preferably a peer-reviewed
publication) to Dr. Marcus Lashley, marcus.lashley@msstate.edu.
We will be accepting and reviewing applications immediately until a suitable applicant is found. Start date is flexible but intended for August 2018.