Fully funded PhD position in Tropical Forest Ecology and Conservation – Starting date: Fall, 2016.

Spatial Ecology LabThe Spatial Ecology and Conservation (SPEC) Lab in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) at the University of Florida is seeking applicants for a fully funded 4-year PhD position in tropical forest ecology and conservation, with a strong geospatial focus, starting Fall, 2016. The stipend will be 22,000$ per year (12-month position), with all tuition covered.


We seek a student who will investigate human-forest-wildlife interactions in high biodiversity areas, in particular proximate or within protected areas, using cutting-edge geospatial approaches, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) multi-spectral and LiDAR or high-resolution satellite or aircraft-borne sensors and/or modelling. The project should include: (a) a holistic approach to quantify biodiversity using multiple methods and linkages among wildlife and forest ecology and sustainability, with (b) a socio-economic analyses and outreach efforts, including workshops, involving local smallholders and communities, to further our understanding of biodiversity conservation, sustainability and the role of local communities in conservation efforts in these regions. Although our current emphasis is on the Neotropics, including Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, and/or Brazil, we would consider proposed projects in other study areas if applicants are well experienced in those systems, this would enable unique research/outreach opportunities, and a strong case is made.


We are seeking applicants with: (a) experience in fieldwork in challenging high-biodiversity tropical environments, (b) the ability to communicate effectively in their study areas native language, (c) experience in the multiple methods described above or excited and capable of learning new approaches, (d) minimum combined GRE score of 305, TOEFL IBT score of 105 (for international students), and GPA of 3.5, and (e) a master’s degree in a related field or equivalent level of academic or professional experience. Minimum expectations for a successful applicant are: (a) submit 1 paper per year to a quality peer-reviewed journal, (b) identify and apply each year to multiple external fellowships and research funding sources, (c) present and participate in international and regional conferences, and (d) that the student will spend all summer semesters conducting PhD relevant field work at their study location.


For questions, please contact Dr. Eben Broadbent at eben@ufl.edu, who will serve as the main academic advisor for this position. Research will also be a close collaboration with Dr. Almeyda Zambrano. It is expected that academic activities, including research and field work, will be conducted in very close collaboration with the advisor and committee members. Please see our lab website at: http://speclab.org  for more information on our general research, teaching and outreach activities. To apply, please email in PDF format your: CV, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores if appropriate, list of references (3-5), and 2-3 page statement of a proposed project, including (a) how it addresses the objectives described above, and (b) how you are qualified to accomplish this work. Relevant maps and figures would be appreciated. Applications submitted prior to June 1st, 2016, will receive full consideration, but we will continue reviewing applications after that point until the position is filled.


Some useful background readings are available for download at the link below. This folder will be updated as I identify readings of interest to this position until the position is filled: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7oxl6eggrn17990/AACksAT2m8SYkcUn5wijf3CHa?dl=0