Wednesday, January 16, 2013

JOBS: Two graduate student positions - Marine Mammal Physiological Ecology, Anchorage, Alaska

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

View of downtown Anchorage, AK.
View of downtown Anchorage, AK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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 <>
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 1^st .

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
( <>).

Dr. Jennifer M. Burns

Department of Biological Sciences, CPISB 202C

University of Alaska

Anchorage, AK 99508

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