Non-breeding Ecology of Cackling Geese

Position DescriptionThe Waterfowl and Wetland Bird Lab ( of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville invites applications from highly motivated individuals to pursue a PhD degree within our collaborative lab.

The student will work directly with state waterfowl biologists throughout the southern Central Flyway to address several questions relevant to goose management. Specifically 1) Investigate migration routes and winter dispersal patterns of cackling geese that winter in the southern Central Flyway; 2) Examine non-breeding habitat use in relation to property management and land use/ownership; 3) Investigate the relationship between landscape variables and energy expenditure; 4) Explore the recent use of urban roosting ponds and its impact on harvest potential; and 5) Determine breeding affiliation of cackling geese that stage and winter in the Southern Central Flyway. The student will also have the opportunity to develop their own questions using information from millions of locations and accelerometer bursts on a large number of cackling geese over 3 years of deployments. This project is a collaboration among Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central Flyway, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Research data will be used by the successful applicant for their dissertation. The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific conferences.

Location: Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas (approx. 45 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas). Research will be conducted on public and private lands throughout the Southern Great Plains.

Qualifications Required:  MS in ecology, wildlife science, biology, or closely related fields. A strong work ethic, good verbal and written communication skills that allow effective interactions with collaborators, and the ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team. Competitive applicants will ideally have coding and statistical experience in R or similar programs and strong quantitative skills. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Stipend/Salary: $2,200/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)

 (medical package has a 60-day waiting period).  Nonresident tuition waived (resident tuition fees apply). Partial resident tuition fee assistance may be provided based on availability of funds.

Start Date: August 2023 or January 2024

Application Deadline: 15 July 2023 or until a suitable candidate is selected.

To Apply: Send via email a single pdf file that includes 1) a cover letter, 2) career goals, 3) resume/CV, 4) transcripts (can be unofficial), and 5) contact information for 3 references to:

Dr. Bart Ballard
C. Berdon and Rolanette Lawrence Endowed Chair in Waterfowl Research
Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
700 University Blvd., MSC 218
Kingsville, TX 78363
Phone: 361-593-3954

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.