[MARMAM] two graduate student positions

Jennifer M Burns jmburns at uaa.alaska.edu
Tue Jan 15 09:10:11 PST 2013

University of Alaska seeks two MSc and/or PhD Candidates
        in Marine Mammal Physiological Ecology
        Anchorage, Alaska

The Department of Biological Sciences at University of Alaska Anchorage seeks Masters of Science (MSc) and/or PhD candidates to work on a project examining linkages between the timing of reproduction and molt in Weddell seals in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The positions may begin either in fall 2013 or spring 2014, and are based in Anchorage, Alaska. Details on the graduate program at UAA and admission criteria can be found at www.uaa.alaska.edu/biology<http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/biology> At a minimum, students should have an undergraduate GPA of > 3.0, and have completed both the general and subject (biology or equivalent) GRE test with an average score of > 70%. Admission deadline for Fall 2013 is March 1st.

The successful candidate(s) will be part of a team that is looking at the relationship between reproductive timing, molt timing, pregnancy rates, and condition in Weddell seals. One student will focus on the physiological factors that impact molt timing and reproduction so experience with biochemistry/molecular labwork is a plus. The second student will focus on dive behavior and energetic models between the breeding period and molt, so statistical and mathematical skills preferred. Student research projects will reflect program needs, but will also be tailored to student interest. Example projects include studying seasonal changes in reproductive hormones in relation to molt status, animal condition, and activity budgets; developing tests to determine pregnancy status; modeling the population level consequences of differences in reproductive and molt timing; developing energetic models that link behavior and physiological consequence; or others that relate to better understanding variation in the timing of critical life history events.  Results from this research will contribute to an understanding of how energetically expensive life history events such as reproduction and molt are regulated, and how variation in phenology may influence demographic processes in Weddell seals, and other high-latitude pinnipeds.

Preference will be given to highly motivated candidates with a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science degree in biology or closely related field, who have a strong academic record, and that enjoy working both in the laboratory and field.  Candidates must be physically fit, able to work long hours outdoors in the cold, able to pass medical and dental screening criteria for long deployments in remote field locations, and be the holder of a valid passport (US or other).  Prior laboratory and/or field research in physiological ecology of mammals is a plus.  The successful applicant will spend 2-4 months in the field at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, each year. Student stipend and tuition are provided for up to four years; students will be expected to work as a teaching assistant for at least two semesters.  The positions are open until filled.

For further information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Burns (jmburns at uaa.alaska.edu<mailto:jmburns at uaa.alaska.edu>).

Dr. Jennifer M. Burns
Department of Biological Sciences, CPISB 202C
University of Alaska
Anchorage, AK 99508

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