[MARMAM] Seeking 2 PhD students in elephant seal demography or movement ecology (UC Santa Cruz)

Roxanne Beltran roxanne at ucsc.edu
Thu Oct 12 08:29:32 PDT 2023

Hi folks,

My lab group is searching for 2 new PhD students interested in the
demography and movement ecology of elephant seals to join us at UC Santa
Cruz!  Application deadline Nov 1. Full ad below. Thanks for passing this
along to folks who might be interested :)


Take care,


*The Beltran Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz is recruiting *

*2 PhD students interested in the demography and movement ecology of
long-lived vertebrates.*

*Project Overview*: We are seeking 1-2 PhD students to study demography and
at-sea movement ecology of long-lived vertebrates, with a focus on elephant
seals at Año Nuevo Reserve, a 30-minute drive from the UCSC campus. The
students will collaboratively analyze elephant seal demographic data
(mark-recapture data, census, drone imagery) or biologging data (diving
data, tracking data) to complement ongoing Beltran Lab research on ecology,
physiology, and behavior. The positions will *begin Fall 2024*. Each
student will be given 3 years of funding (stipend + tuition), with the
remaining quarters funded by internal or external fellowships and Teaching
Assistantships. Dissertation chapters can also be tailored to student
interest and expertise. *Example projects include:*

·        *life history tradeoffs such as current/future reproduction and

·        *fitness consequences of environmental variation*

·        *maternal effects*

·        *individual consistency in 3-dimensional movement patterns*

·        *risk-reward landscape maps using elephant seal tracking and
diving data*

Students will be trained in individual-based wildlife monitoring, drone
piloting, and analytical techniques, and gain valuable experience mentoring
undergraduate students in field and laboratory activities as well as
outreach activities. In addition to data collected during the project,
students may have access to an unparalleled 5-decade demographic elephant
seal dataset collected by Drs. Burney LeBoeuf and Dan Costa (>320,000
sightings of 51,000 unique, known-age animals across 6 decades, along with
offspring size data for thousands of pups born to known-moms) and diving
and tracking data for adult female elephant seals.

*About Us*: The candidates will be expected to collaborate extensively with
each other and with members of the Beltran Lab <http://www.beltranlab.com/>
(2 postdocs, 6 grad students, 1 field technician, 3 program assistants, 10
undergraduate student field assistants). We study the ecology, physiology,
behavior, and population dynamics of large marine vertebrates. The lab sits
within the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology <https://www.eeb.ucsc.edu/>
department at the University of California Santa Cruz
<https://www.ucsc.edu/>. Our goal is to develop a supportive and respectful
community that fosters curiosity and exploration, produces high-quality
original science, and launches productive and passionate independent
scientists. We expect members of the lab to share our values for
enthusiasm, communication, and collective excellence. Lab expectations are
available on our website.

UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a high proportion of
first-in-family undergraduate students and is renowned for fostering
student social mobility. Our department commits to and advocates for
equity, anti-racism, and inclusion in every facet of our work. We welcome
candidates who understand the barriers facing traditionally
underrepresented groups in higher education, and strongly urge candidates
who have engaged in teaching, research, professional and/or public service
contributions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to apply. In
addition to biology research, our lab group undertakes research on
education (the benefits of field courses for undergraduate student
success), equity and inclusion, reproducibility, and the power of long-term
monitoring program for training the next generation of wildlife biologists.
The students would be welcomed and encouraged to participate in these

*Qualifications*: Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree in biology,
physiology, ecology, statistics, or a related field. The successful
candidates for these positions will have a strong working knowledge of
wildlife and/or marine ecology, excellent verbal and written communication
skills, and analytical expertise including but not limited to spatial
analyses of animal location data. Extensive experience with mammal handling
is strongly desired. Skills relevant to the project components will be
viewed favorably. Applicants with a MSc degree and/or first-author
publication are especially encouraged to apply. Fieldwork will require long
hours in the field, including work outside the traditional Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

*Application Instructions*: To apply, please fill out this Google Form
with the following materials:

· A cover letter highlighting your research motivations, your short and
long-term career goals, and which component of the research interests you

· A curriculum vitae / resume that outlines your academic and professional

· A writing sample. This could be a technical report, academic paper, or
class research project.

· Copies of unofficial transcripts or a list of classes taken, as well as
your undergraduate GPA. Please do not send GRE scores.

· Names and email addresses of 3 references.

Application deadline is *November 01, 2023. *I will review applications and
contact the top candidates to set up a time to chat by phone/Zoom and, if
appropriate, to visit our lab in person. The selected candidates will be
invited to apply through the official UCSC Admissions
<https://www.gradadmissions.ucsc.edu/> process (due *December 10, 2023*).

For more information contact Roxanne Beltran (roxanne at ucsc.edu).
*Roxanne Beltran, PhD *| she/her/hers
Assistant Professor
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of California Santa Cruz
Zoom Room
 | Beltran Lab <http://beltranlab.ucsc.edu>

Building a Better Fieldwork Future <http://fieldworkfuture.ucsc.edu/>
Science Division Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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