Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD positions on behavior and resilience in plant-animal interactions 

The Tarwater (www.tarwaterlab.com) and Kelley (www.kelleylab.org) labs are looking for two highly motivated, extremely hard-working, and creative Ph.D. students to work on plant-animal interactions, with a particular focus on how bird behavior alters seed dispersal, the importance of abiotic factors on temporal and spatial variation in seed dispersal, and resilience in the novel ecosystem of Hawaii.  

 
Successful applicants will be expected to be part of a larger team collecting data in Hawaii (Oahu) on seed dispersal. There will be flexibility for students to develop particular foci for their dissertation. We anticipate that two chapters will be focused on questions that are part of a new SERDP grant, while the other two chapters will be developed by the student. Students will be collecting data in Hawaii for >4 months per year for the first few years, and the remainder of their time, they will be in Laramie, WY (location of the University of Wyoming).  
 
The University of Wyoming has a new, exciting initiative, WYOBIRD, that students would have an opportunity to take part in. This initiative includes local outreach opportunities, invited seminar speakers, hands-on experience with birds and mentoring of students, collaborations with ornithologists locally and regionally, and workshops. 
 
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. 
 
Students will be funded off of a Research Assistantship for their first 3.5 years and for the remaining time of their Ph.D.s, they will be funded off of a combination of Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Assistantships include a living wage, tuition, and benefits. One student will be in the Tarwater lab and one student will be in the Kelley lab, but they will collaborate with a larger team. 
 
Qualifications: Candidates must possess a B.S. or M.S. degree in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resource management, or a related field. Ideal candidates would have 2+ years of field experience, including experience in the mist-netting of passerines and plant identification, and ideally some experience with large data sets and R, and experience in writing manuscripts. We strongly encourage underrepresented students in STEM and international students to apply. 
 
Contact:  Dr. Corey E. Tarwater (corey.tarwater@uwyo.edu) and Dr. J. Patrick Kelley (Patrick.Kelley@uwyo.edu). Please submit your application to https://forms.gle/dEiMs4BQAiMcm8SE7 . Include in your application a single document that includes a cover letter outlining experience and specific research interests, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and contact information for 3 references familiar with your experience and qualifications. If an international student, please include your TOEFL scores. Review of applications will begin October 23rd and continue until filled. Successful applicants would start in July/August 2024.