Potential Positions in the Fletcher Lab


Graduate student openings:

PhD Opening in African Wildlife Spatial Ecology. We are looking for an exceptional Ph.D. student to build on our research program in Swaziland and South Africa (Kruger Park). Recognizing the need for rigorous evidence to isolate the influence of elephants on savanna dynamics, we are initiating a large-scale field experiment in Kruger National Park in South Africa. This experiment affords a tremendous opportunity to isolate the specific influence of elephants on ecological patterns and the ecological processes that underpin those patterns. We are looking for a student to develop a project that utilizes this experiment as well as the long-term monitoring data that has and will continue to be collected as part of this program. This project can take many potential forms and will be a collaborative effort with researchers at University of Florida, OTS (Organization for Tropical Studies) South Africa and the University of Swaziland. At the University of Florida students will work directly with Drs. McCleery (http://www.themccleerylab.org/), Fletcher, and Frazer (http://sfrc.ufl.edu/people/faculty/Frazer). This position will require students to conduct research in Southern Africa for extended periods of time (2 years or more). This is an extraordinarily challenging and rewarding commitment that should not be taken lightly.

We are looking for a self-motivated independent student with a previous record of academic achievement, publications, and field experience in remote locations. Applicants must have completed or be in the process of finishing a M.S. Degree. Applicants must also have a minimum 3.5 grade point average, greater than 312 on verbal and quantitative GREs, and considerable field experience. To apply, send a resume including GRE scores and GPA, a brief explanation how you are prepared for PhD program and over-seas research, and a list of 3 references to Dr. Robert McCleery ramccleery@ufl.edu by Dec 15th.  We will begin reviewing applications as they come in. 

General thoughts on graduate students

In general, I expect that students in my lab will hold common interests in ecology and conservation, with strong appreciation for integrating other fields, such as evolutionary biology and statistics, into their research and development as biologist. I will consider advising students on a wide range of topics, including research on landscape ecology, animal behavior, population dynamics, quantitative modeling, avian ecology, and conservation.

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree with me as your advisor, I would highly recommend pursuing the publications from my lab to determine if and how our work interests you. Please send me a CV, GRE scores and GPA, and a brief statement of your research interests, career goals, and why you would like to pursue a graduate degree in my lab.  For admission to the department, general minimal requirements for GPA are 3.2 for upper division undergraduate coursework, 3.2 for any graduate coursework, and preferred GRE scores of at least 1200 (Q + V; for new scores, >50% percentile in V and Q). If English is not your native language, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper based; 213 computer based) is necessary.  Yet I emphasize that these are minimum requirments.

Please see the WEC Graduate Program for more details on WEC admissions requirements and application procedures for the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Note that applicants for the PhD program should have a Master’s degree in ecology or related field and have worked with ecological data as part of that degree or in another professional capacity. Applicants for the MS program should have a related undergraduate degree with substantial research experience. Also consult the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at UF for other opportunities reagarding graduate admission. Although we have a rolling application deadline, most UF funding is allocated by February for the following fall semester. Other avenues for fellowships include the National Science Foundation and the EPA Star Fellowships Program.

Undergraduate research positions:

I occassionally have openings for motivated undergraduate students that want to gain valuable research experience, including both field experience and computer experience (e.g., GIS skills). But, I expect undergraduates to be very committed to their work in my lab. If you are interested in gaining research experience relevant to the work in our lab, please send me a resume, 2-3 names of references, your current GPA, and a brief statement of why you would like to work in my lab.