PhD Scholarship in Kiwi Ecology and Genomics

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A PhD scholarship is available to study ecology and genomics of kiwi with the Allan Wilson Centre at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The candidate will join a group of researchers (Drs Kristina Ramstad, Nicola Nelson, Hugh Robertson, and Fred Allendorf) using a genomics approach to assess potential inbreeding effects on the persistence of kiwi populations.

The PhD candidate will investigate fitness measures (e.g., nesting and hatching success) of little spotted kiwi populations on remote offshore islands and in the urban sanctuary of Zealandia. In addition, they will develop broader research in kiwi conservation genomics, reproductive ecology, and/or population modeling (depending on their area of interest) and conduct their work directly with M?ori community groups (the indigenous people of New Zealand).

Applicants should hold an MSc degree (or equivalent preparation for a PhD) in animal behaviour, conservation biology, population genetics, or evolutionary ecology. They should be independent, self-motivated and capable of completing project goals with minimal direct supervision. They should be in good health and have a high level of physical fitness as they will be following study animals through difficult terrain, off trail, both during daylight hours and at night, in remote field settings. Excellent writing and communication skills (English) are a must. A background in field research and demonstrated ability to organize and conduct field research projects with diverse human interest groups are a plus, as are enthusiasm, a positive attitude, a willingness to work hard, and the capacity to work collaboratively within a team.

The scholarship includes a tax-free stipend of at least NZ$25,000 per annum plus tuition fees of approximately NZ$6,300 plus seed funding ($5,000NZ per year) for field work for a period of up to three years.

Review of applications will begin immediately. Those interested in applying should send their CV to Kristina Ramstad kristina.ramstad@vuw.ac.nz to obtain further information about the project and how to apply.

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