PhD Assistantship – Marten (Martes spp.) monitoring to inform management

Montana State University, Ecology

The successful candidate will develop a research project that can inform marten monitoring and management in Montana, including: 1) developing a statewide habitat model, 2) assessing the distribution of Pacific marten (Martes caurina), American marten (M. americana), and putative hybrids with genetic sampling conducted in Montana and Idaho, and 3) conducting field studies and developing a methodology for monitoring occupancy of these species. The field component will occur throughout western Montana and may require spending some time away from Bozeman.

The project is a collaboration with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Specific research questions will be determined jointly by the advisor, collaborators, and selected candidate. The student will pursue a Ph.D. at Montana State University in the Department of Ecology (, advised by Dr. Andrea Litt (

Required Qualifications:
• B.S. and M.S. in wildlife science, ecology, zoology, or closely related field.
• Applicants should have an average GPA of 3.0 in biology courses; 3.0 average in courses taken during the junior and senior years; and 2.5 average in chemistry, physics and mathematics courses.
• A strong work ethic, drive, and motivation to succeed
• Aptitude for modelling and quantitative ecology
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to work independently and as a productive member of a research team
• Ability to work under adverse, winter field conditions

The Litt lab is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, and strongly encourages applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. Interested parties are encouraged to apply even if these minimums aren’t met.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Background or interest in mammalogy, genetics, and habitat selection.
• Experience working and communicating with other biologists, landowners, and the public.

Stipend/Salary: The student will be supported by a research assistantship ($2750/month). Insurance, tuition, and fees also will be covered. The selected candidate could have opportunities for teaching, especially at the undergraduate level.

Start Date: August 2023

Application Deadline: We will begin reviewing applications on 13 March 2023 and will continue until a candidate is selected.

To Apply: Please send (1) a cover letter focused on the listed qualifications, as well as how the opportunity would help further career goals, (2) resume/cv – listing presentations and publications, (3) unofficial copies of transcripts, and (4) contact information for 3 references to Dr. Andrea Litt (