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Friday, October 02, 2009

TweetThis! Colorado State University: Ph.D. Graduate Research Opportunity

Wildebeest Foraging and Migration

The Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU, in collaboration with the African Conservation Centre and University of Maine, is conducting research on how changes in Kenyan rangelands are altering wildebeest forage acquisition. Fragmentation is reducing the permeability of landscapes, while the increased frequency of drought is leading animals to need to move greater distances to find sufficient forage.

To explore these opposing drivers, we will be tracking collared wildebeest in three Kenyan conservation areas, modeling future fragmentation in those areas, and using a multi-agent model to simulate wildebeest movements. Scenarios will be used to quantify wildebeest responses to different levels of fragmentation and drought frequency and severity.

A Graduate Research Assistantship is available for a well-qualified Ph.D. student to develop an independent research project within the context of the broader research.

The project will include a field component, which may include the relationship between wildebeest behavior and vegetation, landscapes, wildlife, or livestock.

The Ph.D. student will be working with Dr. Boone and other project participants to construct and use the multi-agent simulation model.

We seek a well qualified and self-motivated student holding an M.S. degree. Computer programming experience will be helpful, as will an ability to work effectively in rural Kenya.

To apply, send the following information by email to Randall Boone:
1) a cover letter outlining your research interests and experience,
2) a detailed CV, and
3) contact information for at least 2 academic referees.

Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Graduate student stipend and tuition fees are available for 3 year, subject to satisfactory progress in both coursework and research.

Contact: Dr. Randall Boone, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, 1499 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499.

Email: rboone@nrel.colostate.edu

Phone: 970-491-1806.

Website: http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/gnu/

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