Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Ph.D. Assistantship studying exploratory movement (Wyoming) 

The Merkle Research Group in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is looking for a highly motivated, creative, and quantitative Ph.D. student to lead a project studying exploratory movement behavior. The successful applicant will be admitted through the Program in Ecology and Evolution at University of Wyoming and be based in Laramie (USA).  
 
The student will have the opportunity to shape specific research questions within a broad theme of the ecology of exploratory movement behavior. Specifically, the student will study where, when, and why animals engage in novel spatial behaviors (e.g., going to new places) as well as the costs and benefits of these behaviors such as adjusting to habitat disturbance. The student will analyze previously collected GPS collar data on individual mule deer monitored for multiple years across multiple populations. 
 
Candidates must have a B.S. and preferably a M.S. degree in Ecology, Wildlife, Computing, Biological Statistics, or related field. Applicants with experience managing and analyzing large spatial datasets (including remote sensing and animal movement data) in program R, working independently and with a team on research projects, collaborating with wildlife managers, and publishing peer-reviewed research will be favored. Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a collaborative team environment, co-produce high-quality research with wildlife managers, present their work at professional conferences, and publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed journals. Given the project does not have a field component, it may be particularly suitable for candidates with less flexible schedules.  
 
A graduate assistantship will be provided, which includes tuition and benefits, and an annual stipend of $26,400. To apply, please email a SINGLE PDF file that includes 1) a detailed cover letter outlining, at a minimum, quantitative experience and interest in studying exploratory movement behavior, 2) a CV, 3) contact information for three references, and 4) unofficial transcripts to Jerod Merkle (jmerkle@uwyo.edu). Review of applicants will begin 10 December 2023. Start date is negotiable but before the end of August 2024 is preferred.