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PhD: Wild Turkey Population Dynamics and Spatial Ecology 

Position: A PhD position is available to conduct research related to wild turkey ecology and management in West Virginia, in cooperation with the WV Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at West Virginia University, and the WV Division of Natural Resources. This research will provide valuable information to help inform current and future management decisions for turkeys in WV. 

The PhD student will join an on-going statewide research project on wild turkeys, to investigate questions related to turkey population dynamics and habitat use. Specifically, their dissertation research will involve creating integrated population models (IPMs) to evaluate the effects of various hunting regulation changes, and demographic on turkey population trajectories, as well as exploring various aspects of hen spatial ecology. Additionally, there will be lots of flexibility for the student to develop questions of interest related to movement ecology, population ecology, predator-prey dynamics etc. using large datasets collected throughout the state, with the potential for multi-state collaboration. The selected candidate will work with a team of MS students, technicians, and agency biologists to coordinate fieldwork across the state of WV. 

The intended start date for this position is August 2024, but this is flexible. Funding is secured for 4.5 years through a Research Assistantship (which includes a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance), with the opportunity for competitive candidates to also apply for University fellowships. 

Required qualifications: 
– MS in wildlife biology, ecology, or related field 
– A valid US drivers license 
– Ability to work both independently and part of a team 
– Strong written and oral communication skills 
– Strong quantitative skills/experience using R to analyze large datasets 

Preferred qualifications:
– Experience creating Integrated Population Models 
– Experience with spatial analyses of GPS data 
– Experience with trapping and monitoring (e.g. VHF telemetry) turkeys or other game birds 

To Apply: Please send the following as a single PDF to Dr. Laura Gigliotti (laura.gigliotti@mail.wvu.edu) with a subject line of Turkey PhD by November 20: 1) a cover letter, 2) a CV or resume, 3) copy of academic transcripts (unofficial is fine), 4) names and contact information for 3 references.