PhD position: Modeling mammal responses to disturbance and potential for sustainable harvest in Amazonian indigenous territories.

#EcologicalModeling #Occupancy #Tropicalmammals #CameraTraps #Amazon #IndigenousCommunities #Ecuador #TropicalEcology

Contact: Miguel Acevedo ()

Applications are welcome for a fully funded (4 years) PhD graduate studentship at the University of Florida to conduct interdisciplinary ecological research that integrates quantitative ecology, human geography, and social sciences. The student will be advised by Dr. Miguel Acevedo [link to webpage] within the Interdisciplinary Ecology program at in the School of natural resources and environment (SNRE).

The position is funded by an NSF project titled: “Resilient Socio-Environmental Systems: Indigenous Territories in the Face of Change”. The goal of this project is to understand how Indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon maintain robust socio-environmental systems despite the deleterious effects of encroaching extractive socio-environmental systems. The PhD student will collaborate closely with an interdisciplinary team of researchers (see below) developing models to assess how Amazon mammal communities respond to environmental disturbance and their potential for sustainable harvest. The student is also welcomed to develop their own ideas within the broad scope of the project.

Start dates: August 2022

Qualifications We are looking for a self-motivated Ph.D. student that is interested in undertaking interdisciplinary training in ecology that integrates statistical modeling, geography, and the social sciences. Candidates with a master’s degree and previous experience with ecological modeling are preferred; however, applicants with a BSc that have extensive independent research and/or peer-reviewed publications may also be considered competitive. Interested students should send a (1) a letter of interest describing your educational background, research experience, and how this position helps you meet your long-term career goals, (2) a Curriculum Vitae that includes GPA and all relevant experience in addition to, (3) contact information for three references. These can be sent by email to Miguel Acevedo (email: maacevedo[at]

Miguel’s mentoring philosophy: The overall goal of my mentoring strategy is to collaborate with students to develop and execute an individual strategic plan to meet their short- and long-term academic goals. In this process, I acknowledge that our academic performance is interconnected with the other dimensions of our life. Therefore, I emphasize building a sustainable academic program while balancing the eight dimensions of wellness.

The interdisciplinary team: Miguel Acevedo (UF-WEC), Joel Correia (UF-LATAM), Michael Esbach (Princeton-HMEI), Cynthia Simmons (UF-Geography), and Robert Walker (UF-Geography).

About the University of Florida

Currently ranked in the top 5 public Universities in the US, The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 50,000 students. The nearby 3,600-hectare Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, managed by the UF Department of Wildlife Conservation and Ecology, provides an outdoor laboratory for teaching and a site for long-term field research and has been designated to serve as a National Science Foundation NEON core site.

Several units on or nearby the University of Florida campus complement the teaching and research programs of the Department, including The Florida Climate Institute, an interdisciplinary center hosted at UF and comprising 7 Florida universities; Biotechnologies for Ecological, Evolutionary, and Conservation Sciences; the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies; Center for Natural Resources; Center for Wetlands; Center for Biological Conservation; Pre-eminence initiatives in Bioinformatics and Biodiversity; Florida Museum of Natural History; Northeast Regional Data Center; National Ecology Laboratory (Sirenia) of USGS; Florida Field Station (Gainesville) of the U.S.D.A. Wildlife Research Laboratory; Southeastern Forest Experiment Station unit of the U.S. Forest Service; The Nature Conservancy; the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Wildlife Research Laboratory of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and others.

Living in Gainesville

Situated in the rolling countryside of north central Florida, Gainesville is much more than a stereotypical college town. Home of the University of Florida, seat of Alachua County’s government and the region’s commercial hub, it is progressive, environmentally conscious and culturally diverse. The presence of many students and faculty from abroad among its 99,000-plus population adds a strong cross-cultural flavor to its historic small-town Southern roots. Its natural environment, temperate climate and civic amenities make Gainesville a beautiful, pleasant and interesting place in which to learn and to live. Gainesville has been ranked as one of the best cities to live in the United States.

Florida boasts a diversity of fauna and flora common to both southern temperate and subtropical climates and is replete with springs, rivers, backwater streams, lakes, freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove fringes, cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks, sandhills, scrub, pine flatwoods, and rangeland. Nested between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida has more than 2,000 kilometers of coastal beaches and estuaries. Special features include the Florida Keys, which constitute an archipelago of picturesque subtropical islands, and the unique Everglades, or “river of grass,” which sprawls across the vast southern peninsula