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Graduate student assistantships (1, PhD): Lead in Avian Scavengers
Job Type: full-time temporary position
Location: West Virginia
Posting Date: 20 Jan 14
Closing Date: 10 Mar 14
Assessing lead levels in avian scavengers. Negative effects of lead exposure on humans have been documented over several millennia. More recently, lead has also proven to be toxic to wildlife. In fact, lead has no physiological value to vertebrates and is a potent neurotoxin. Consequences of lead exposure in humans can include impaired cognitive function and less severe but still highly relevant changes in blood pressure and blood chemistry. Likewise, in wildlife, exposure to lead may lead to lethal or demographically consequential sub-lethal effects, including changes in behavior, reproductive output, and long-term survivorship. Avian scavengers, because of their trophic position and natural sensitivity are particularly vulnerable to demographic effects of population-level lead poisoning.
There is currently limited data on baseline blood lead levels in free-living avian scavengers, sources of lead contamination (i.e., industrial lead in the environment or lead from ammunition), and seasonal variation in these parameters. It is the goal of this research to provide those data. The student conducting this work should be expected to participate in sample collection, lab sample analysis, GIS modeling of lead levels in wildlife and its correlates, and dissemination of results of the research in scientific journals and to the general public.
Positions are open until filled; consideration of applicants will begin in in February. The tentative starting date is August 2014. Students receive health insurance, tuition waiver and an annual assistantship at WVU-Davis College standard rates (Ph.D. students $19,848).
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