Ph.D. position: University of Saskatchewan – Movement ecology of eastern mallards

Description: A Ph.D. studentship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. The project is part of the launch of the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation (

This research is an international partnership among Ducks Unlimited, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pennsylvania Game Commission, The State University of New York-Brockport, University of Saskatchewan, and provinces and states of the Atlantic Flyway. Our primary project goals are to (1) quantify reproductive attempts, full-term incubation and brood-rearing, (2) assess the extent to which migration characteristics, proportion of time feeding, and energy expenditure during wintering, staging and the reproductive period explain variation in reproductive metrics, (3) quantify movements and habitat use throughout the annual cycle, and (4) estimate seasonal survival of mallards in eastern Canada and eastern US. We anticipate deploying 800-1000 units on mallards over a 4-year period. These units will generate millions of data points providing examples of individual decision-making. A parallel project on black ducks in the Atlantic Flyway will provide a unique opportunity for the graduate student to compare movements and behavior between species in space and time.

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate and master’s degree in statistics, wildlife ecology or a closely related field, and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods, spatial analysis), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field experience (e.g., handling birds). Applicants must have a valid driver’s license. The student will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.

Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (with field work in eastern Canada and US)

Salary and benefits:  Approximately $30,000 Canadian per year plus tuition.

Start date: September 2021 or January 2022

Last date to apply: 11 June 2021 or until a suitable candidate is selected

To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman (

(1) Letter of interest summarizing your experience, (2) Curriculum vitae or resume, (3) University transcripts (unofficial are fine), (4) Contact information for three references.