Positions Available

MS population ecology | Phd woodcock | Postdoc monitoring mammals

M.S. Graduate Assistantship in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences

The research group of Dr. Sydne Record (https://sydnerecord.blogs.brynmawr.edu/ – relocating to UMaine in Fall 2022) seeks applicants for a M.S. position in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine in Orono in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology. Our research group focuses on population and community ecology from a biogeographical perspective. We apply computational methods to data from various environmental observatory networks to explore ecological dynamics across space and time. Potential research projects will expand current research in our group such as remote sensing of vegetation structure to inform wildlife habitat use, collating land use information for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) sites to understand the coupled-human natural systems in which they are situated, and determining abiotic and biotic drivers of biodiversity. The preferred start date for this position is Fall 2022, but Spring 2023 enrollment will be considered. This position is a fully funded 12-months for up to three years and includes tuition and health insurance. There may also be an opportunity to extend the position to a PhD.

Qualifications: B.S. in biology, ecology, statistics, or other relevant discipline, quantitative skills (e.g., R, Python, geographic information systems) or willingness to acquire such skills, interest in population and community ecology, and excellent work ethics. Successful applicants will be expected to work both independently and collaboratively, mentor undergraduates in the group, develop independent research questions related to overall project goals, embrace environmental data science, conduct field work, publish research results, and see projects from start to finish. Good oral and written communication skills and flexibility given the unexpected nature of research are highly valued. We are committed to anti-racism and value diverse identities, experiences, and skills.

Location: The University of Maine Orono campus is a community of ~12,000 undergraduate and graduate students. UMaine is in beautiful central Maine with an excellent quality of life (little traffic, reasonable cost of living, safe neighborhoods). Outdoor recreational activities abound with Mount Katahdin (Baxter State Park) and Acadia National Park within one hour drive and 15 miles of running, biking, and cross-country skiing trails on campus.

Closing date: when filled; preferred start date of Aug. 29, 2022, with potential to start in Spring ‘23.

Contact: Please apply at https://tinyurl.com/MSRecordUMaine

Questions or trouble applying? Email sydne.record@maine.edu with the subject line “Graduate Assistantship”

We especially encourage applicants from historically excluded groups to apply.

Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship: Migration Ecology of American Woodcock in the Eastern United States

Location:  University of Maine (Orono, ME) with fieldwork throughout Eastern North America

Stipend:  $25,334 per year (anticipated 4 years to degree completion) plus tuition and ½ health insurance premium

Description:  We are seeking qualified applicants for a Ph.D. position that will focus on migration ecology of American woodcock.  As a component of their dissertation research, the student will coordinate a large-scale collaborative research project that seeks to better understand woodcock migration throughout eastern North America. Our project uses GPS transmitters to collect data on individual woodcock during both fall and spring migratory periods and involves working with a diverse array of project partners that include state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other universities.  As a member of this collaborative team, the successful applicant will be responsible for capturing and tagging woodcock prior to migration, retrieving location data and managing large databases, regularly communicating progress with project partners and other stakeholder groups, analyzing data, presenting results at meetings and conferences, and publishing research findings. More information on the project, including examples of data collected so far, is available on the project web page, woodcockmigration.org.

Our project is currently in its fifth year of data collection, and the successful applicant will have access to GPS location data collected from ~500 marked individuals, which have collected more than 28,000 locations from throughout North America to date.  In addition to GPS-tracking data, information on genetic/genomic signatures and feather stable isotopes may be available to incorporate in the student’s research.  While the specific directions for dissertation research are open to the student’s interests, we anticipate that topic areas may include evaluating the prevalence of variable migration strategies among migrant woodcock, identifying important migration corridors, linking space use and habitat to mortality risk, or the role of anthropogenic land uses in affecting woodcock populations.  We anticipate a final dissertation comprised of 4 chapters suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals, as we as the opportunity to contribute as a co-author on other manuscripts completed as part of the research collaborative.

The student will be a member of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine, with options for pursuing a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences, depending on the student’s interests and background.  They will be co-advised by Dr. Erik Blomberg and Dr. Amber Roth.  Support for the student will come in the form of both teaching (~25%) and research assistantships (~75%).


Required Qualifications: We seek applicants with a keen interest in the natural world, a strong work ethic, and a desire to be an engaged member of research labs with like-minded colleagues. Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from a Wildlife Ecology, Biology, Natural Resource, or related program are required. Applicants should have a GPA >3.0, as well as strong oral and written communication skills and evidence of progress in publishing work from the M.S. degree.  Inclusion of GRE scores in application materials is welcome, but not required. Previous relevant field experience, demonstrated aptitude for quantitative analyses, a commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in wildlife science, and strong recommendations are required. Ability to work collaboratively and to supervise field assistants is also required. Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Other Desired Qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with experience or demonstrated interest in avian migration, animal population ecology, and quantitative methods.  Previous experience with avian capture and handling is highly desired.  Prior experience or exposure through coursework with the following quantitative skills: GIS, capture-mark-recapture, spatial analysis, regression, population modeling, and maximum likelihood and/or Bayesian estimation methods.  Experience using R for data management, analysis, and presentation of results. A record of effective communication, as evidenced by presentations at professional conferences and participation in collaborative research teams.

To apply:  Please submit the following materials: A cover letter describing your qualifications for the position, a current CV including graduate/undergraduate GPA, contact information for at least three professional references, and a writing sample (master’s thesis or published manuscript).  A single merged pdf is preferred; the writing sample may be submitted separately.  Please submit application materials, and address any questions about the position, to both Drs. Roth (amber.roth@maine.edu) and Blomberg (erik.blomberg@maine.edu).

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and should be submitted by 1 April 2022 for full consideration.  The successful candidate must be available to start on August 29, 2022.

Contacts: Please address correspondence to both Drs. Roth (amber.roth@maine.edu) and Blomberg (erik.blomberg@maine.edu)

POSTDOC Position focused on developing monitoring protocols for mammals in New England, University of Maine (USA)

A Postdoc position is available to work in the labs of Alessio Mortelliti (alessiomortelliti.weebly.com) and Cyndy Loftin (https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/staff/479866). The position is focused on developing adaptive protocols for monitoring mammals as they respond to climate and land use change in the Northeast USA. The overarching goal of this project is to provide management agencies with statistically robust camera-trapping monitoring protocols that will allow them to monitor a suite of 15 mammalian species over the next decades across a large spatial scale (i.e. northern New England). An example of the type of protocols we are developing is available here: Mortelliti A., Brehm, A., Evans. 2022 Umbrella effect of monitoring protocols for mammals in the Northeast US. Scientific Reports, 12 (1), 1-12.

The ideal candidate would have strong quantitative (GIS, occupancy modelling, mixed-effects modelling) and writing skills. The postdoc will be expected to work closely with agencies in New England to ensure the protocols are feasible and in line with management goals. Although most of the work is analytical (using existing data) some field work is expected to validate protocols across New England.

The position is at the University of Maine flagship institution in Orono, with an active and diverse department. Remote working (within US) is an option. Salary: approximately $52,000 year. Expected start of the position: as soon as possible.

Informal enquiries are welcome (alessio.mortelliti@maine.edu).

To apply please send (as one unique PDF file):

1) A cover letter addressing why you want this position and what skills you would bring to the project, 2) curriculum vitae, to: Dr. Alessio Mortelliti (alessio.mortelliti@maine.edu)

Application review will begin on June 23, 2022.

Updated 06/23/2022