Recent activity

Phd assistantship - Marbled Murrelet breeding ecology

Cheryl Horton, February 7, 2017

The Forest Animal Ecology Lab at Oregon State University [website link] (‐rivers/) is accepting applications for a Ph.D. Assistantship focused on the breeding ecology of the Marbled Murrelet. This position is part of a large‐scale, long‐term, and collaborative project being led by Dr. Jim Rivers in cooperation with Dr. Matt Betts (OSU Dept. Forest Ecosystems & Society), Kim Nelson (OSU Dept. Fisheries and Wildlife), and Dr. Dan Roby (USGS and OSU Dept. Fisheries and Wildlife).

The student filling this positon will be involved with field research aimed at improving our understanding of Marbled Murrelet nesting ecology and breeding habitat requirements, with implications for the conservation of this species in Oregon and beyond. The student will develop their project as part of a team of researchers examining aspects of nest‐site characteristics across spatial scales, murrelet parental care behavior (e.g., incubation and offspring provisioning), and space use around active nests. This position is an excellent opportunity for a student interested in conservation biology, behavioral ecology, and ornithology to gain valuable knowledge and experience in ecological theory, modeling, and empirical data collection throughout the Coast Range mountains of western Oregon. Oregon State University is among the top U.S. universities for scientific productivity in environmental sciences and conservation biology.

Applicant requirements:
- A Masters degree in biology or related field (e.g., environmental science, zoology, wildlife ecology). Highly accomplished undergraduates will be considered only under special circumstances
- GPA >3.5
- Strong previous experience in field research (preferably in both ornithology and behavioral ecology)
- Upper‐level undergraduate or graduate‐level courses in statistics
- Familiarity with GIS and spatial modeling
- Previous experience working effectively with a team (preferably as a field crew leader)
- Excellent physical condition for traversing rugged mountainous terrain
- Demonstrated experience in publishing in peer‐reviewed literature
- Applicants with existing funding (e.g., NSF, NSERC, Fulbright, graduate assistantships) will be given high priority

To apply: Applicants should create a single file (PDF or Word) that contains (1) a cover letter addressing qualifications, (2) a full‐length curriculum vitae, (3) GRE scores, (4) transcripts (unofficial transcripts are sufficient), (5) writing sample, and (6) contact information (email and phone number) for three references and email it to both Dr. Jim Rivers ( and Dr. Dan Roby ( with “MAMU Ph.D. Assistantship” in the subject line. For questions regarding the application process, contact Dr. Rivers by email.

We will begin reviewing applications on Feb 20th 2017.