Postdoctoral Research Associate – Spatial Modeling of Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Hiring Organization: Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Deadline: January 31, 2018

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Spatial Modeling of Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Position description:

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate for large-scale biodiversity modeling and data science. The researcher will work on multiple biodiversity and spatial modeling research projects at Michigan State University under the supervision of Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske (Forestry/Fisheries & Wildlife), in collaboration with Dr. Kyla Dahlin (Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences), and Dr. Andrew Finley (Forestry/Statistics). The research projects address: spatial scaling relationships among NASA remotely‐sensed geodiversity and point‐level biodiversity; and ecological linkages between biodiversity and productivity across terrestrial and aquatic realms. Both projects are motivated by improving the ability to forecast future changes in biodiversity. Taxonomic groups include (but are not limited to): birds, trees, aquatic insects, and fish. These projects are collaborative and are connected with two larger working groups. The position will begin as a one‐year appointment with extension available depending on satisfactory performance and continued funding.

Required qualifications:

The successful candidate will have earned a PhD in ecology, statistics, data science, or related field by the position start date. Additional preferred qualifications include a strong background in ecological theory, climate change ecology, and spatial modeling (including Bayesian); expertise in R, analyzing large remotely‐sensed and point‐level data, big data management, high performance computing; previous project management experience; and exceptional work ethic, professionalism, and collaborative skills.


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Formally established in 1902, Michigan State’s Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally recognized unit firmly committed to interdisciplinary education, research, and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues.

MSU enjoys a park‐like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

To Apply:

For consideration, submit your application online to job number 483196. Upload the following required documents: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline:

Review of applications will begin January 31, 2018, and the position will remain open until filled. Desired start date is May 2018, but earlier or later start dates may be possible if identified in the application cover letter. Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Zarnetske via email.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life, and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.



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