Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship – Habitat and Population Ecology of the Chestnut-bellied Scaled Quail in South Texas

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute

Kingsville, Texas

Job Type Student / postdoc
Salary Details $2,000 per month, plus benefits (medical package has a 90-day waiting period). Tuition will also be covered by the funding grant. There is opportunity for partial tuition relief based on competitive scholarships through CKWRI.
Deadline Jun 30, 2021

Chestnut-bellied scaled quail have experienced distribution-wide declines in recent decades and currently occupy a smaller portion of their historic range. Although the mechanistic causes of this subspecies are unknown, habitat loss and fragmentation resulting from land-use changes may be contributing factors. Moreover, these relationships may be context and scale specific, leading to increased uncertainty of large-scale changes in scaled quail populations.

We are seeking 1 Ph.D. student to conduct research modeling scaled quail population performance in relation to spatio-temporal landscape changes throughout their distribution in South Texas. Furthermore, the successful candidate will develop models to determine changes in landscape function related to biotic and abiotic variables, and determine regional variation in these patterns. The successful candidate will have access to long-term spatial and population trend datasets which will require knowledge in coding, data processing, and statistical skills. Additionally, the successful applicant will be encouraged to work with the Principle Investigator to design research questions that best serve their personal interests; potentially related to population dynamics, landscape ecology, or other related subjects. This position will include assistance from multiple field research associates, one M.S. student, and multiple research scientists, while also working in collaboration with scientists from Sul Ross State University and the Borderlands Research Institute. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Drs. Evan Tanner and Leonard Brennan (co-advisor).  The successful applicants will be expected to publish manuscripts in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals and present findings at national and regional scientific conferences. This is a fully funded 4-year position.


B. S. and M.S. degrees in ecology, wildlife science, natural resources, range science, biology, or closely related fields. Competitive applicants will ideally have coding and statistical experience in R and Python, with a proven track record of publishing high quality scientific manuscripts. A strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team, and ability to work under adverse field conditions (hot/humid Texas environment) are essential. Ability to operate 4-wheel drive vehicles and conduct field research. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (>3.5 GPS in graduate course work).

Location: Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas (approx. 45 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas). Field research will be conducted on private ranches in the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion.


Application packet must consist of 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) academic transcripts, and 4) 3 letters of reference. Unofficial transcripts will suffice for application review but official transcripts will be required if selected. Send the application as 1 PDF file via e-mail with a subject line of, Multi-scale assessment of habitat connectivity on scaled quail assistantship, to:

Dr. Evan Tanner (Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville)



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Category Ecology, Wildlife
Tags Ornithology