PhD position – Collective migration in ungulates – University of Wyoming

Subject: PhD position – Collective migration in ungulates – University of Wyoming

The Merkle Research Group at University of Wyoming is seeking a highly motivated, creative, and quantitative Ph.D. student to lead a project investigating group dynamics and collective decision-making in migratory ungulates (including mule deer, pronghorn, bison and/or elk).

The successful applicant can shape the project goals; however, it is expected that the student will advance our theoretical understanding of collective migration and then link theory to empirical data using creative analyses. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the Wyoming Migration Initiative, and other state and federal partners. The student will have access to existing and ongoing datasets of animal movement in Wyoming. The student will also be expected to employ an array of trail cameras on migration corridors to quantify group dynamics of marked and unmarked populations.

Candidates must have a B.S. and preferably a M.S. degree in Ecology, Biology, Wildlife, Biological Statistics/Mathematics or related fields.
Applicants must also have an excellent undergraduate GPA and competitive GRE scores. Applicants with prior experience managing and analyzing large datasets in program R (or Matlab/Python), and conducting and publishing research will be favored. Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a team environment, present results at professional conferences, publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed scientific outlets, and assist with preparation of grant proposals.

A competitive graduate assistantship will be provided, which includes annual stipend, tuition, and benefits. The successful applicant will be admitted through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming. To apply, please email a SINGLE PDF file that includes 1) a cover letter outlining experience and specific interests related to migration ecology and group dynamics, 2) a CV, 3) unofficial GRE score sheet, 4) contact information for three references, and 5) transcripts to Dr. Jerod Merkle ( Review of applicants will begin 12 November 2018. Start date is negotiable, but January 2019 is preferred.