PHD POSITION IN ALCID POPULATION MODELING

PhD position in seabird ecology, investigating population dynamics of alcids (Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills) in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Alcids nesting in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine are at the southern extent of their range, thus climate change is likely to result in local population declines. The goal of this project is to collate demographic information collected by our group from 1995 – present for nesting puffins and Razorbills at Machias Seal Island, New Brunswick, use this information to relate population trends with dispersal rates, and produce population models for each of the two focal species.

The candidate will be a member of the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research on the Saint John campus of the University of New Brunswick. Research will involve extensive field work on Machias Seal Island (i.e., presence on the island for 3.5 months) over three years (2019-2021), where the candidate will contribute to our ongoing long-term research. While on the island, the candidate will lead our research team of 3-4 people completing annual seabird monitoring of six focal species (Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Common Murre, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Leach’s Storm-petrel), and aid other graduate students with their field research.

Qualifications:

  • MSc in biology or related field
  • Demonstrated field experience, previous experience leading a field camp is preferred
  • Extensive experience banding seabirds, experience banding alcids preferred
  • Experience calculating apparent survival using Program MARK, R, or other similar program
  • Experience developing and running population models in R, MatLab, or other similar program
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Candidate should have a driver’s license and the ability to travel between Canada and the United States

If interested, please contact Dr. Heather Major (hmajor@unb.ca) with a single PDF that includes: 1) a 1-page letter of interest describing your qualifications and experience; 2) current CV; 3) GPA and unofficial transcripts; and 4) contact information for 3 references who can speak to your academic performance and/or field experience. Review of applications will be ongoing until a suitable candidate is identified. The successful candidate will start in May 2019.

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