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Interested in joining the lab?

I am always interested in chatting if you have ideas about research related to work that we do in the lab. So feel free to contact me anytime to talk about opportunities. I am always looking for students that are curious, creative, passionate about research and the world around us, and have grit! 

M.S. Graduate Assistantship in Tropical Avian Ecology 

I am looking for highly motivated, extremely hard-working, creative, and quantitative-minded M.S. students to assist in developing projects related to the population and community ecology of tropical birds in Panama. 

Successful applicants will be expected to develop and apply theoretical concepts in ecology, while also contributing to the knowledge and conservation of tropical birds. There will be flexibility for students to develop particular foci for their dissertation. I anticipate that at least one chapter will come from my long-term data and the second chapter could be based on data already collected, or could be a new field-based project developed by the student. There are two main projects in Panama (see for more details). First, we have been conducting a study of individually-marked birds in central Panama since the 1970s. From this long-term data set, we have information on survival, recruitment, population growth, body mass, and other metrics for a large number of species. Second, we have been conducting avian studies across a fragmentation-rainfall gradient in Panama, evaluating a myriad of questions about species interactions, changes in morphology, genetic structure, diet, community composition, and more. Students will also have the opportunity to aid in our long-term mist-netting study by going to Panama two times per year to help capture and mark birds.  

Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a team environment, present results at professional conferences, publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed scientific outlets, and assist with preparation of grant proposals. 

Students will be on teaching assistants during the fall and spring semesters, which includes a living wage, tuition, and benefits, unless we obtain other funding that would enable the student to not teach. Summer funding will come from my lab and other grant opportunities at the University of Wyoming and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.


Qualifications: Candidates must possess a B.S. degree in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resource management, or a related field. Ideal candidates would have 1+ years of field experience, including experience in the mist-netting of passerines, and ideally some experience with large data sets, R, and/or the Program MARK. Preference will also be given to applicants with experience in writing manuscripts and in tropical avian ecology. I strongly encourage underrepresented students in STEM and international students to apply.  


Contact:  Dr. Corey E. Tarwater ( Please provide a single document that includes a cover letter outlining experience and specific interests related to tropical avian ecology and quantitative analyses, curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3 references familiar with your experience and qualifications. If an international student, please include your TOEFL scores. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until January 15th. Successful applicants would start fall 2023. 


The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy.  Please see

We conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment.  Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of the background check.

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