PhD Position Available on Grassland Birds and Microclimates (UW-Madison)

PhD Position Available on Grassland Birds and Microclimates (UW-Madison)

We are seeking an outstanding student to lead a novel, multi-scaled quantification of microclimates within grassland conservation areas and evaluate their importance on the nesting biology of declining grassland bird populations. The student’s dissertation will involve quantifying microclimates in grasslands using both ground-based sensors and unmanned aerial vehicle (thermography), design and implement a concurrent study of nesting biology for grassland birds, and analyze citizen science data to   evaluate the importance of extreme events on grassland bird populations. This study will evaluate the potential of managing microclimates as a form of climate change adaptation. This is a USDA-funded collaboration in the department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW-Madison (Zuckerberg, Ribic) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Fink). The 4-year PhD assistantship will begin in the fall of 2019 (or possibly earlier).

Applicants must have a MS degree in ecology, forestry, geography, or other related discipline. We will only consider applicants with a BS degree if they have proven relevant experience. A solid working knowledge of avian ecology, population modeling, GIS, and statistics are required.  Although not a requirement, the preferred candidate will have strong experience in field ornithology, collecting and analyzing nest data, and species distribution modeling. Excellent English writing and verbal communication skills are essential.

Review of applicants will begin immediately, but the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Applications received by February 8, 2019 are guaranteed full consideration. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. The position is open to both US citizen and international candidates. The project includes an annual stipend, plus tuition remission and health care benefits. We envision a start date of September 2019, but an earlier start date may be possible.

UW-Madison has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, remote sensing and geography. The university ranks consistently among the top research universities in the United States.  Total student enrollment is 43,000 of which approximately 12,000 are graduate and professional students, and there are over 2,000 faculty.  UW-Madison is an exciting place to learn and conduct research! The city of Madison ranks as one of the most attractive places in the U.S. to live and work.  For information about campus and city, please see

To apply, please submit your application here:

Please note that submitting an application includes filling out a small survey (< 15 minutes), uploading a cover letter summarizing research interests and experiences, curriculum vitae, and unofficial transcripts or summary of relevant coursework (both undergraduate and graduate).

After reviewing all applicants, we will ask for reference letters from top candidates.