4-Year Ph.D. Assistantship in Movement and Metabolic Ecology of 

START DATE: May through August 2018

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Quantitative Ecology and Spatial Technologies 
Laboratory and the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at Mississippi 
State University, in collaboration with the Noble Research Institute, 
are seeking candidates for a 4-year Ph.D. assistantship in herbivore 
foraging and movement ecology with a specific focus on domesticated 
cattle as an experimental system. The student will investigate how 
foraging behavior and movement influence net energy budgets of grazing 
cattle and how these budgets determine body condition, individual 
fitness, and production metrics. This is a federally funded project 
through USDA-NIFA with emphases on metabolic ecology, space use and 
movement, and forage quality and availability. The successful candidate 
will gain substantial experience in (1) managing and leading data 
collection efforts across multiple field sites; (2) deployment and 
maintenance of biotelemetry data loggers; (3) remote sensing of animal 
behavior; (4) analysis and interpretation of GPS- and accelerometry- 
based datasets; and, (5) hierarchical model fitting, and calibration and 
validation techniques. The successful candidate will pursue their degree 
in either the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, or the 
Department of Animal and Dairy Science, depending on their specific 
experience and career goals.

COMPENSATION: A stipend for living expenses will be provided ($23,500 
per year) as well as complete tuition remission and health insurance for 
a total of 4 years, with extensions possible depending on funding. The 
selected candidate will also be strongly encouraged to apply for 
external support through the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry 
Experiment Station (MAFES) and federal initiatives (e.g., NSF Graduate 
Research Fellowship Program).

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: An MSc in ecology, wildlife management, 
agroecology, animal science, biostatistics, or a related discipline. 
Capable of working under strenuous conditions for extended periods 
(i.e., hot and humid conditions, exposure to biting and stinging 
insects, etc.).

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Any of the following: (1) experience managing 
and manipulating “big data”, (2) familiarity with hierarchical modeling 
concepts, (3) field experience in animal handling and husbandry, (4) GPS 
collaring, (5) analysis of forage quality, and/or (6) familiarity with 
Program R, ArcGIS, and/or Bayesian statistical software (e.g., JAGS, 
WinBUGS, Stan). GPA > 3.0 and GRE scores in Quantitative >= 150 and 
Analytical Writing >= 4.

HOW TO APPLY: Please send the following items: (1) Cover letter 
describing credentials and professional goals; (2) an up-to-date 
curriculum vitae; (3) a list of references (3 at minimum); and (4) 
unofficial copies of university transcripts and GRE/TOELF scores. Formal 
application to Mississippi State University, including official 
transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores, is required subsequent to candidate 

Please send applications to Dr. Garrett M. Street (gms...@msstate.edu) 
and Dr. Brandi B. Karisch (brandi.kari...@msstate.edu).

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