Local and distribution-wide assessments of scaled quail nesting ecology and resource selection in the Southern Great Plains

Position Description: Scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) have experienced distribution-wide declines in recent decades and currently occupy a fraction of their historic range. Although the mechanistic causes of the scaled quail decline 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 M.S. student to conduct research on resource selection, nesting ecology, and stage-specific survival of scaled quail populations in relation to spatio-temporal landscape changes throughout their distribution. Resource selection and survival analyses will be targeted on the chestnut-bellied scaled quail subspecies in South Texas, while nesting ecology will be focused on datasets covering the species’ entire distribution in the United States spanning over a decade. The successful candidate will utilize GPS transmitter technology to better understand fine-scale space use patterns of scaled quail in South Texas. Banding data will be used to estimate survival analyses across two populations in South Texas. This position will include assistance from field research associates, 1 Ph.D. student, 2 MS students, and a diverse team of quail experts at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, while also working in collaboration with scientists from more than six research institutions throughout the Southern Great Plains. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr. Evan Tanner.  The successful applicant 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 2.5-year position supported by the Grady Cage Endowment for Quail Research.

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 South Texas Plains and Tamualipan Thornscrub regions.

Qualifications Required:  B. S. degree in ecology, wildlife science, natural resources, range science, biology, or closely related fields. Competitive applicants will ideally have coding and statistical experience in R or related software. 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.

Stipend/Salary: $1,800/month plus benefits (medical package available after completion of waiting period) and nonresident tuition waived (resident tuition fees apply but will be reimbursed to ensure a full tuition waiver)

Start Date: August 2023.

Application Deadline: We will begin reviewing applications as soon as possible and will continue until suitable candidate is selected.

To Apply: 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, Local and distribution-wide assessments of scaled quail nesting ecology and resource selection assistantship, to:

Dr. Evan P. Tanner (Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville)
Email: evan.tanner@tamuk.edu
Phone: (361) 593-3948

Texas law requires that males 18 through 25 show proof of compliance with Federal Selective Service law in order to be eligible for employment.   

Selected candidate must pass a pre-employment background investigation to be hired for this position.