PhD Opportunity: Vegetation Community Response to Deer Herbivory and Landscape Context I am seeking a motivated PhD student to examine how vegetation communities respond to state-wide differences in deer population estimates and landscape context. The student will be part of team of faculty, staff, and state agency personnel working to integrate biological, ecological, and sociological aspects of deer management in Indiana. The successful applicant’s dissertation research will examine multiple measures of community condition and habitat quality to determine which measures are most strongly linked to variations in deer abundance and landscape composition and configuration. In addition, this research will identify measures that best combine sensitivity to varying conditions with utility and efficiency of use in continued monitoring.
The position is budgeted for four years beginning no later than mid- August 2018, with an initial annual stipend of $23,310, a tuition waiver, and health insurance. Excellent support for infrastructure, logistics and professional development is available including necessary equipment, travel to meetings, field and logistical assistance from a full-time project coordinator, an academic-year field coordinator, and undergraduate student technicians, as well as academic and career mentoring from faculty investigators, the state deer biologist and extension specialists. Required qualifications include a GPA of 3.2 and strong GRE scores. Strongly preferred qualifications include a M.S. degree in ecology, botany, forestry, wildlife, or a related field, experience conducting vegetation surveys, familiarity with Midwest flora, strong quantitative and writing skills, and experience with data analysis, preferably in R. To apply: Prospective applicants should send via email a brief letter of interest and CV (including GPA, GRE scores, and contact information for references) to Mike Jenkins (jenki...@purdue.edu). Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Purdue University is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. About Purdue: Purdue is a land-grant university of over 40,000 students and ranked the 5th best public university in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue is an easy drive from Indianapolis and Chicago. The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) is housed administratively in the College of Agriculture (#8 world ranking), emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches across a broad spectrum of natural resource sciences, and offers vibrant, nationally ranked graduate programs in ecology, forestry, and wildlife. The West Lafayette-Lafayette area is home to a diverse community of 174,000, with good schools, safe neighborhoods, over 40 parks and extensive trail systems, active farmers markets, and year-long community festivals and art events.