Post Doctoral Scholar in Landscape Genetics at The Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Linking Genetics to Movements of White-tailed deer to Assist Surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease. We seek a Post-Doctoral Scholar using landscape genetics to understand landscape features, dispersal characteristics, and transmission and spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer through assessment of population structure throughout a region. This is the culmination of a research effort that was initiated in 2014 in the Mid-Atlantic region to identify the frequency and distribution of prion gene variants (PRNP) and use of microsatellite genotypes collected from free-ranging white-tailed deer. SNPs recently developed are also planned to be used in this large endeavor. Previous published research encompassed over 2,000 individual deer genotyped within the CWD core areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This project has expanded to statewide in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio to increase our understanding of the potential genetic basis of disease risk and potential disease transmission pathways at the landscape level for several areas of known or anticipated CWD occurrence. This project aligns with FY21 EMA annual guidance and will be funded by the USGS RFP priority: Chronic Wasting Disease: Research to investigate the impact of genetics on CWD dynamics in cervid populations. The successful candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary group that includes ecologists, geneticists, veterinarians, and state agency researchers. This full-time position is located at the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. The selected candidate must agree to follow all Covid-19 safety guidelines and protocols established by the university. This is a one-year appointment, with an additional year possible pending performance and funding availability. Start date is flexible and dependent upon hiring process but ideally within a month or two of offer.
Competitive candidates should be highly motivated and possess a PhD in spatial ecology of mammalian species and disease epidemiology or a related discipline with a strong quantitative emphasis. The selected candidate must provide evidence all requirements have been met for the completion of the Ph.D. prior to the effective date of hire. Specific experience with landscape genetics or population genetics is preferred but not required. The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment is essential. Submission to or publishing in peer-reviewed journals is required and mandatory prior to any potential renewal beyond the one-year appointment. Experience with Program R and Bayesian methodologies is required. Please provide: (1) a cover letter detailing your experiences for the qualifications above and how they have prepared you for this position, (2) a CV, (3) names and contact information of three professional references, and (4) two relevant publications. Please submit these materials to Dr. W. David Walter via email ( as a single pdf with POST DOC IN LANDSCAPE GENETICS in subject line. Qualified applicants will need to also submit application materials to Penn State’s employment website at:
Contact Person
Dr. W. David Walter
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