Recruiting PhD student for southern flying squirrel project at Kansas State University

Hello, All –

Andrew Hope and I are recruiting a student to work with us investigating distributions and population genetics of southern flying squirrel populations in Kansas. Please distribute this announcement to potential PhD students who have interests in landscape ecology, mammalogy, population genetics, and/or population dynamics.

Feel free to share this broadly,


Institution Kansas State University

Location Manhattan, Kansas

Position Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship


Salary $27,300/ year plus tuition, benefits.

Start Date For a start in Spring semester 2023 (preferred) review of applications will begin on 15 October 2022, and will continue until position is filled.


The Hope and Ahlers Labs at Kansas State University are recruiting a Ph.D. student to model the distribution and population demographics of southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in Kansas. Southern flying squirrels are currently listed as a “Species in Need of Conservation” in Kansas though we have limited understanding of their distribution constraints and current population status. The student will use a combination of camera traps and live traps to determine presence and absence of southern flying squirrels in forest landcover and mark and monitor individuals within known populations. The student will also use population genetic analyses to investigate regionally distinct populations, barriers to dispersal, demographic expansion or contraction, and potential local adaptation within Kansas. There will be opportunities for the student to develop additional research questions based on their own interests in wildlife and landscape ecology/evolution. This position will begin at the start of the Spring 2023 semester, though funding is in place to start as a Research Assistant at Kansas State University as soon as October 2022 (and turnover to a PhD student during Spring 2023 semester). Applications for a later start date may be considered until position is filled.

Kansas State University is in Manhattan, Kansas – in the middle of the beautiful Flint Hills ecoregion, representing one of the largest remaining tracts of tallgrass prairie in North America. There will be an extensive field component for this project that will occur in deciduous forests of eastern Kansas. The student will be required to lead a team of technicians to survey for, live trap, and mark (including sampling for genetic analyses), southern flying squirrels on both public and private property.

The student will be supported by a 12-month graduate research assistantship with institutional support through 5 years. All assistantships in the Division of Biology also provide experience through teaching lab classes. This position will be co-advised by Andrew Hope and Adam Ahlers.

Qualifications Prospective students should preferably have a M.S. degree in wildlife, landscape ecology, or related fields, exceptional leadership and organizational skills, experience with GIS and distribution modeling, experience with live-trapping and handling mammals, and excellent communication skills. Experience with genetic lab techniques is also preferred but not essential. Willingness to combine theory and practice across the fields of ecology and evolution is expected.

Those interested should e-mail a single pdf file that contains a cover letter, CV, and contact information for up to three references. Materials and/or questions about the position should be sent through email to Andrew Hope (ahope) and Adam Ahlers (aahlers2).

Contact Person Andrew Hope (ahope) or Adam Ahlers (aahlers2)

Adam A. Ahlers

Associate Professor

Kansas State University

Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources

1712 Claflin Road

Manhattan, KS

PhD announcement_Southern Flying Squirrels in Kansas.pdf