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  • Postdoc: population ecology / quantitative methods (University of Illinois)

    Thomas J. Benson
    • Employer: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois Natural History Survey)
      Location: Champaign/Urbana, IL
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to evaluate, develop, and implement population estimation methods and strategic conservation planning for the state’s wildlife resources. Applicants should have a strong and diverse quantitative skillset, and the ability to work closely and communicate effectively with a diverse group of collaborators. The associate will: a) Evaluate long-term datasets collected on wildlife in Illinois for utility and potential sources of bias. b) Develop quantitative approaches (i.e., Bayesian hierarchical methods) to integrate these datasets into estimates of demographic parameters and abundance. c) Investigate factors influencing long-term population trends in Illinois wildlife d) Use estimates in a probabilistic decision-making framework to provide recommendations for adaptive management. e) Revise current data collection protocols to improve future inference and management decisions.

    The associate will work closely with INHS scientists (Drs. Kirk Stodola, Max Allen, and T.J. Benson), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, citizen scientists, and other researchers and faculty. The position is based in Champaign, Illinois, where opportunities exist for collaborations with an interdisciplinary community of researchers and graduate students. Opportunities for fieldwork and teaching are not required but are available depending on the successful applicant’s interests. This position is funded by a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Grant and multiple years of funding is available pending successful performance.

    The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) has been the guardian and recorder of the biological resources of Illinois—the state's biological memory. With more than 260 scientists and staff, INHS is recognized as the premier natural history survey in the nation. The mission of INHS is to investigate and document the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and to acquire and provide natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. PRI houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology. PRI’s mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service, in cooperation with other academic and research units of the University of Illinois and elsewhere, that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois.

    To learn more about INHS please visit http://wwx.inhs.illinois.edu/. For more details on the ornithological research community at the University of Illinois please visit https://www.cowbirdlab.org/ilo.html

    The starting date is negotiable after the closing date. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by December 31, 2020. To apply, please via e-mail a 1) cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references to Dr. Max Allen at maxallen@illinois.edu. The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.


    Required Qualifications • Ph.D. in wildlife ecology, natural resources, or related discipline, with a research interest in quantitative approaches. • Strong quantitative analytical skills, competence with R, and interest/ability in learning statistical programs such as JAGS and/or OpenBUGS. • Proficiency in the use and creation of databases in commonly employed software databases. • Ability to write clearly and scientifically, with evidence of successful publications. • Possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. • Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. • Familiar with the most current and appropriate sampling methods of different taxa. • Ability to work independently, collect and analyze field data, and coherently translate findings both verbally and in writing to granting agencies and to scientific and public communities. • Effective communication, collaboration, personal relations, and teamwork skills. • Valid driver's license.

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