2 MSc Graduate Research Assistantships in Disturbance and Wildlife Ecology, MSstate

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Title: Long Term Effects of Forest Management on Understory Succession and Wildlife Space Use

Project Description: We seek 2 highly motivated students for 2-year MSc assistantships in wildlife ecology and disturbance ecology. The successful candidates will be co-advised by Dr. Marcus Lashley and Dr.
Garrett Street. Students will investigate understory vegetation dynamics as they relate to habitat conditions for targeted wildlife species (i.e., white-tailed deer, wild turkey, northern bobwhite, and others) following anthropogenic disturbance; and spatiotemporal patterns in intensity of habitat use and occupancy. One student will primarily be responsible for wildlife sampling and the other focused on vegetation sampling; however, the candidates will work in close collaboration with one another and are expected to have substantial overlap in field work and research output. This project is a pilot study for a long term effort to monitor the effects of thinning, prescribed fire, and herbicide treatments on wildlife habitat and the resulting intensity of habitat use and occupancy of wildlife, and students will likely work closely with Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks personnel, and other university, federal, and state agency personnel.
Successful candidates will gain experience in disturbance and wildlife ecology, prescribed fire management and timber stand improvement practices, biological conservation, and applied ecology, and will be required to develop peer-reviewed manuscripts and extension materials related to their research focus.

Compensation: A stipend for living expenses will be provided ($16500 per year), as well as full tuition and health insurance.

Beginning Date: January 2016

Closing Date: Open until an appropriate candidate has been identified

Minimum Qualifications: An undergraduate degree in ecology, wildlife management, biology, or a related discipline is required. The successful candidates must be capable of working in the field under strenuous conditions for extended periods (i.e., hot and humid conditions, exposure to biting and stinging insects, exposure to poison ivy, etc.). Minimum 3.25 GPA and 150 GRE.

Preferred Qualifications: For the wildlife position, field work experience conducting wildlife surveys, including camera trapping, point counts, and songbird identification by call. For the vegetation position, field work experience conducting vegetation surveys, especially experience with plant identification are preferred.
Controlled burn experience also preferred but not required (we will provide training). Demonstrated capacity to work in a collaborative capacity. Familiarity with Program R and GIS software (e.g., ArcMap,
QGIS) highly desired but training can be provided as well. GPA > 3.5, and GRE scores in Quantitative >= 160 and Analytical Writing >= 4.

Application: To apply, please send the following items: 1) Cover letter describing credentials and professional goals; 2) a resume/CV; 3) a list of references; and 4) unofficial copies of all university transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores. (NOTE: Formal application to MSU, including official transcripts and GRE, is required subsequent to selection of a successful candidate.)

Send all application materials to: g.street@msstate.edu, and marcus.lashley@msstate.edu

Garrett M. Street
Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Landscape Agroecology Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer

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