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Curator, Ornithology


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Los Angeles, CA


United States

Last Date to Apply:

15 Nov 2017


Curator, Ornithology
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) seeks a Curator to lead its research on birds, oversee the growth and care of the ornithology collection, and to provide content for a variety of public programs. These activities will support NHM’s new strategic goals of understanding and promoting urban biodiversity and strengthening and activating its research and collections departments.


NHM, the largest natural history museum in the western United States, holds one of the world’s best collections of extant birds. This includes over 120,000 specimens—primarily study skins and skeletons—representing more than 5,200 species. The collection is strongest for the Americas and Africa, and it is also important for the Pacific region. NHM also holds extensive collections of fossil birds, including the renowned collection of the La Brea Tar Pits. These, together with other important ornithological collections in Southern California (e.g., the Moore Laboratory of Zoology, UCLA-Dickey Bird and Mammal Collection, and Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology), make Los Angeles an unparalleled place for collections-based, ornithological research. Moreover, the region is home to over 500 extant bird species and comprises a diversity of habitats that offer many potential sites for field research.


The successful candidate will have a record of outstanding research, excellent communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to engage the public and stakeholders. A Ph.D. and a strong track record of peer-reviewed publications that focus on evolutionary biology and/or ecology (e.g., taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, global change, urban nature, and/or biodiversity science) are required. He/she will be expected to build an active and publically appealing research program, to oversee all NHM’s programs on living birds, and to supervise the staff and volunteers of the Department of Ornithology. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to develop working relationships with local universities, mentor students and postdoctoral fellows, strengthen NHM’s presence in key professional and governmental networks, and maintain research through competitive grants and/or other funding from external sources. The successful candidate will also be expected to participate actively in a broad range of museum activities, including exhibits, education, citizen science programs, training of educators and volunteers, public communications and media interactions, and fundraising activities. A vision and capability to build a research program that can be integrated within the NHM’s ongoing efforts to understand urban biodiversity—particularly in Southern California—and to shape the collections and research in ways that activate both its scientific and public appeal is paramount.


NHM is seeking applicants who have demonstrated experience and commitment working with a diverse community. This is a full-time position with a salary and title commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.


Application deadline is November 15th, 2017. The starting date is July 1st, 2018. Applicants should send a cover letter and vision statement, curriculum vitae, salary history, and the full contact information of at least three professional references to thayden@nhm.org - Tyler Hayden, Research & Collections, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA.


The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please, No Phone Calls, No Fax.