Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, has been detected in several places throughout Texas leading Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a need to collect state-wide baseline occupancy and activity data. We are seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student to join the Department of Biology at Texas State University. The research team includes Dr. Sarah Fritts, Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano, Dr. Sara Weaver (Texas A&M San Antonio) and Jonah Evans. The student will be responsible for assessing occupancy and activity around Texas using acoustic detectors and the NABat protocol. Additionally, we expect the student to develop their own dissertation questions within the boundary of the project. The start date is for spring 2020 (university application deadline is August 15). If you are interested in mist-netting, possible side projects include recording captured bats to inform our call library and sampling at acoustic locations to confirm species presence/richness and identify calls.
The Biology Department (http://www.bio.txstate.edu/) of Texas State University (http://www.txstate.edu/) has a PhD program in Aquatic Resources and Integrative Biology in which an emphasis exists on the application of ecological principles to studies in wildlife ecology and natural resource management. The University campus is conveniently located in central Texas along the I-35 corridor and close to both Austin and San Antonio. Details about the entry requirements for this graduate program can be found here (http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/ and https://www.bio.txstate.edu/Graduate-Programs/Ph-D--Aquatic-Resources.html and https://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/programs/aquatic-resources-phd.html ). Applicants need to meet the entrance requirements for the program, department and university.
For more details about the details of the research team you can visit our websites where we have a description of our individual research and past publications:
Dr. Sarah Fritts (https://sarahfritts.wordpress.com/, https://www.bio.txstate.edu/about/Faculty---Staff/faculty/Sarah-Fritts.html and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Fritts).
Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano (https://www.bio.txstate.edu/about/Faculty---Staff/faculty/Ivan-Castro-Arellano.html
Dr. Sara Weaver (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sara_Weaver4 ).
Required credential include a M.S. in wildlife, ecology, natural resource conservation, environmental studies, or a related field; strong quantitative skills and demonstrated writing ability; competitive GPA and GRE scores. Applicants should be willing to work independently and as part of a team, have experience with acoustic monitoring of bats including hardware and software (Sonobat, Kaleidoscope), experience with statistics, and the ability to withstand demanding Texas field conditions (i.e., hot weather, long driving hours).
Student support will be through a combination of grant support (research assistantships) and instructional assistantships. Tuition support will be provided for 3 years and summer support can be provided for 4 years. Multiple opportunities exist at the Biology Department for additional scholarships/awards on a competitive basis.