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PhD Graduate Research Assistantship

Patrick Jodice, June 22, 2016

The South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at Clemson University is seeking a PhD student to study the spatial ecology of Brown Pelicans in the southeastern US. The research will build upon prior efforts of our lab to study reproductive, foraging, and spatial ecology of pelicans in the SE US, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coast.

The primary objective of the research is to determine movement patterns of adults throughout the annual cycle using satellite/GPS tags. Adults will be tagged during breeding at colonies during Spring 2017. The number of tags to be deployed is dependent on final funding levels but should exceed 60 units. In addition to assessing movement patterns, migratory strategies, and foraging ranges we expect to also conduct colony-based research focused on reproductive biology, foraging ecology, and physiology. Details of these aspects of the research will be developed by the student in conjunction with the PI and stakeholders.

The selected applicant will be expected to manage and maintain master data sets from all field work, prepare annual reports, present results at meetings, develop and cultivate relationships with federal and state agency personnel, and meet requirements of data archiving and review. The student will move among multiple field sites during the field season. Colonies are located on barrier islands and sea islands and as such the selected candidate must have boating experience, preferably in marine or estuarine environments.

Candidates should have a masters degree in a related field (preferably wildlife ecology, zoology, or biology), strong field skills directly relevant to the research described above, experience analyzing spatial data, experience preparing manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals, and experience operating boats. Strong candidates will have a GPA > 3.4 and combined verbal and math GRE scores > 315. The student will be supported through a GRA with a salary of at least $21k/yr (depending upon final funding level) and will be a member of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University as well as being affiliated with the South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. A graduation tuition deferment and a health fee subsidy will be provided. The selected candidate will begin in mid-August 2016 with field work commencing in March 2017.

Candidates should provide a letter of interest, a CV, a list of three references, copies of transcripts and GRE scores (unofficial is fine for now) directly to Patrick Jodice, by 8 July 2016. If needed, the mailing address is Patrick Jodice, SC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, G27 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29634.