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  • Post-doctoral Scientist in Raptor Demographic Modeling

    Guest Dr. Fitsum Abadi Gebreselassie
    • Employer: New Mexico State University
      Location: Las Cruces, NM
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 08/04/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Position: Post-doctoral Scientist

    Topics: Raptor demographic modeling / Eagle collision risk modeling

    Agency: New Mexico State University (in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

    Location: Las Cruces, NM (on site preferred)

    Salary: $55,000–$60,000/year with benefits, commensurate with experience and work location (funded for 1 year with potential for extension dependent on availability of funding)

    Start Date:  09/01/2023 (negotiable)

    Last Date to Apply: 08/04/2023

    Description of Research

    We seek a Post-doctoral Scientist to lead projects focused on raptor demographic modeling and eagle collision risk modeling. The Post-doctoral Scientist will work with Drs. Fitsum Abadi Gebreselassie, Brian Millsap, Jay Gedir, and Abby Lawson in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Raptor Program.

    Raptor Demographic Modeling: Our team conducts demographic modeling on raptor populations to explore species life history strategies and estimate sustainable take, and inform management and conservation of raptor species. The postdoc will lead the development of integrated population models (IPMs) to better quantify uncertainty in demographic parameter estimates and estimate latent parameters. The postdoc will also provide modeling support to the USFWS National Raptor Program to improve assessments and decision-support tools for raptor conservation and management purposes and publish results of research in peer-reviewed journals.

    Eagle Collision risk Modeling: The USFWS manages authorized eagle take for proposed wind-energy facilities in a scientifically rigorous framework using a Bayesian collision risk model (CRM) that integrates prior knowledge about eagle abundance and collision risk with site-specific data on eagle abundance and risk area to produce a facility-specific fatality rate probability distribution. The postdoc will provide technical assistance for facility-specific eagle risk assessments for wind-energy facilities, including analyses of eagle data using existing frequentist and Bayesian analysis tools. The postdoc will also provide support for improving the use of the CRM and other decision-support tools for implementing adaptive management of eagle take, including initiating analysis of data relevant to assessing the feasibility of adding complexity to the CRM. In addition, the postdoc will generate reports suitable for incorporation into National Environmental Policy Act documents in support of permit decisions.


    Minimum qualifications:

    ·         PhD in wildlife ecology or related field by the anticipated start date.

    ·         Advanced knowledge of R and JAGS with experience developing Bayesian hierarchical models.

    ·         Demonstrated record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

    ·         Strong writing and quantitative skills.

    ·         The ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and meet deadlines.

    Desired qualifications:

    ·         Experience in demographic and population trend estimation and modeling.

    ·         Experience developing integrated population models.

    ·         Knowledge of raptor ecology.


    To apply, please email the following to Drs. Fitsum Abadi Gebreselassie (fgebrese@nmsu.edu) and Jay Gedir (jgedir@nmsu.edu): 1) A letter of interest that describes your qualifications and relevant research background and experience, 2) a curriculum vitae, and 3) contact information for 3 references.

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