Positions Available

Position: MS Assistantship: Population ecology of moose in Maine
A 2-year Masters position is available in the Morano and Kamath Labs at the University of Maine, starting in the Fall 2021 semester.

Description: We seek a motivated and enthusiastic student to examine questions related to habitat ecology and population dynamics of Maine moose (Alces alces). The successful applicant will work as part of a collaborative team composed of faculty and graduate students at the University of Maine, and professionals from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). The student would be considering questions of moose habitat use and survival dynamics in the context of resource allocation, habitat selection, winter severity, winter tick dynamics, and other potential epidemiological factors. This is primarily a modeling project, taking advantage of data collected by the MDIFW; fieldwork may consist of assisting agency personnel with data collection, or collecting and processing biological samples. Results from this study aim to inform management efforts and conservation planning for moose in Maine and would be relevant to populations throughout the southern extent of their range.

The student will be a member of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine, with options for pursuing an MS in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences, co-advised by Dr. Sabrina Morano and Dr. Pauline Kamath. Support for the student will come in the form of a graduate assistantship (which also covers tuition, (50%) of health insurance), which may include a combination of both research and teaching assistantships.

Qualifications: The successful candidate should have a strong undergraduate academic background in wildlife, ecology, or a related field, and desire to use basic ecological theory to address current conservation challenges for large mammals. Competitive applicants will have skills/interests in GIS, statistical modeling, survival analyses, and the use of Program R for data analysis and management. In addition, a willingness to work outside in cold, wet conditions and to participate in collection of biological samples from living or dead animals is required. Successful candidates will also have demonstrated leadership and initiative at the undergraduate level, have the capacity to manage multiple competing tasks for their time (e.g., write a proposal, assisting with field work, take graduate level courses), are goal oriented and self-directed with an ability to overcome obstacles to finish tasks (in research, education, or life in general), and have an interest in collaborative research.

To Apply: (1) a cover letter describing why you are pursuing a graduate degree, how this opportunity aligns with your professional interests, and current qualifications, including relevant research experience and coursework. In addition, please highlight what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses relative to this graduate position; (2) a CV detailing relevant academic qualifications and field experiences; (3) GRE scores (if available); (4) unofficial transcripts; and (5) contact information for three references. Please combine materials into a single PDF document to sabrina.morano@maine.edu with the subject line “Moose MS Position.”All applications received before January 18th will receive full consideration, but will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Students are also welcome to participate in one of two transdisciplinary graduate programs offered at UMaine, the Enhancing Conservation Science NRT Program or the One Health and the Environment NRT Program, please see program websites for additional information and include interest in the cover letter.


MS Position in Animal Behavior and Conservation, University of Maine

An MS position is available to work in Alessio Mortelliti’s lab (alessiomortelliti.weebly.com) focusing on how individual variation in behavior (personality) impacts population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. The MS student will participate in a series of field experiments focusing on the ecological consequences of personality, using small mammals and seed dispersal as a model system. The study will be conducted in the context of an ongoing large-scale field experiment focused on land-use change and will include a citizen science component.  An example of the type of experiments we are conducting is available here: Brehm et al. 2019 Ecology Letters 22: 1387–1395


The ideal candidate would have a strong passion for fieldwork as well as the potential to develop strong quantitative and writing skills. Previous experience working with small mammals is not mandatory. The position is at the University of Maine flagship institution in Orono, with an active and diverse wildlife graduate department. The position is funded through an NSF Career grant to Alessio Mortelliti and it includes a stipend (through RA and TA, for up to 2.5 years), full tuition, and 50% of the health insurance. Expected start of the position: summer 2021 (TBD).


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, 3) unofficial transcripts, 4) GRE scores (if available) 5) contact for 3 references, to Dr. Alessio Mortelliti (alessio.mortelliti@maine.edu)

Application review will begin on April 12, 2021.


Funded Ph.D. position in Landscape Ecology / Wildlife Conservation

We are recruiting for an RA-funded Ph.D. position in the Charney lab at the University of Maine’s flagship campus to complete a graduate program in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology & Environmental Science.  The successful student would work on either: developing novel remote-sensing techniques of forests and landscape ecological metrics to understand and guide urban-planning in Nashville, TN; landscape ecology and conservation of vernal pools in New England working with unisexual salamanders and/or other vernal-pool dependent species; or another project of their choosing that links rare species conservation and landscape ecology.

This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding student to contribute to solving real-world conservation challenges while learning and advancing cutting-edge techniques, gaining experience in the field, establishing their career, and working within a supportive and collaborative environment.

The ideal candidate would have: an independent work ethic; a strong quantitative skill set (preferably including fluency in R and GIS); passion for natural history; intense curiosity; strong written and oral communication skills; a desire to engage with collaborators and stakeholders in solving problems.  A completed Master’s degree is preferred but not required, as is success in publishing past work.

The University of Maine is a friendly community in the small, bike-able town of Orono, just a few minutes from the city of Bangor.  The campus is surrounded by lots of forest, bogs, rivers, and lakes, set in between the famous Hundred-Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trail and the spectacular rocky coastline of Acadia National Park.

Funding includes stipend, health insurance, and tuition.  To apply: please submit as a single PDF (if possible): (1) a cover letter detailing the project you are interested in and why you would be the ideal candidate; (2) a CV; (3) unofficial transcripts; (4) contact information for 3 references; and (5) a writing sample.  Materials and questions may be emailed to: noah.charney@maine.edu.  Application review will begin April 15th, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.  Anticipated start is summer/fall 2021 (TBD).


updated 3/8/2021