Post Doctoral Scholar in spatial epidemiology at The Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
The Pennsylvania State University
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Management strategies of white-tailed deer populations exhibiting contrasting epidemiology since infection with chronic wasting disease We seek a Post-Doctoral Scholar using various modeling frameworks to understand population dynamics, dispersal characteristics, and prevalence of chronic wasting disease (CWD). This is the combination of research efforts initiated in 2018 in the initial Disease Management Area (DMA) 2 in Pennsylvania in 2012 and ongoing research in DMAs that have since formed as the CWD has been documented outside of DMA 2. The primary objective of this position will be using agent-based models in various DMAs experiencing different population dynamics and CWD prevalence to set harvest regulations in attempts to manage white-tailed deer for CWD. This effort with involve datasets from deer marked with global positioning system technology, population estimates using distance sampling with infrared technology, and CWD prevalence specific to each study area. The project will be funded by and in close cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. 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 but likely not until early- to mid-summer 2022 pending final funding approvals.
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 Bayesian hierarchical modeling, INLA, and NetLogo 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 SPATIAL EPIDEMIOLOGY 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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