The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to evaluate invasive carp attraction and use of a fish movement system/ladder and identify conditions necessary to pass native and invasive fishes. Prior work has shown that silver carp and grass carp will climb a fish ladder, but native fishes outperformed the invasive ones in the pilot study. The more flexible design proposed by this project will allow us to optimize the fish ladder for invasive carp movement while also assessing the conditions necessary to selectively pass natives. This technology could automate the process and increase connectivity to native fish and mussels while further constraining invasive fish. It is likely that scanning technology can distinguish multiple invasive species, not limiting to carp management applications. Collaboration among research agencies will contribute to the evaluation of fish movement technology and advanced management tools for invasive carp and native fishes in the Illinois River Basin. This project will be guaranteed for at least 2 years. The position duties require a balance of project coordination and experimental design implementation, field sampling, laboratory science, data analysis, and writing.
The associate will work under the direction of Jim Lamer and work closely with the Illinois River Biological Station scientists, and other INHS researchers and faculty. The position is based in Havana, Illinois at the Illinois River Biological Station (https://illinois-river-bio-station.inhs.illinois.edu/), where the applicant will join an interdisciplinary community of researchers and graduate students. Funding for the position is guaranteed for one year with a possible extension for two additional years as project funding allows.
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Qualifications: Applicants should have a Ph.D. (within the last 10 years or by the start date) with experience conducting research related to fish passage and familiarity with invasive fish/carp management, especially in relation to large rivers or other large-freshwater ecosystems. Alternate degree fields in ecology or natural sciences will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position and the strength and experience applying and developing quantitative techniques. Applicant should possess strong analytical skills and strong proficiency with R or SAS statistical software and its application to ecological-based statistics. Applicants with experience analyzing and conducting fish passage studies or similar analyses are preferred.
Experience: A minimum of three years of modeling ecological data and familiarity or have conducted field and laboratory research on invasive fishes, fish passage, large rivers, or other large aquatic systems. Must be able to write clearly and scientifically as demonstrated through prior publications. Must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. Ability to work independently, collect and analyze field data, and coherently communicate findings (verbally and in writing) to granting agencies and to scientific and public communities. Experience managing and analyzing large data sets is a bonus. Skills in effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organization, teamwork, and leadership are required. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment under stringent deadlines with minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills are required. Proficiency in Microsoft Office, R or comparable platform, GIS, and other commonly used software is required. Must have valid driver's license and experience driving boats on rivers or other large bodies of water is preferred.
To Apply: For full consideration, applications should be received by February 28th, 2022, but this position will remain open until filled. To be considered for the position, applicants should send 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. Jim Lamer, Large River Ecologist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For hiring questions, please contact Amber Hall, HR Business Partner at email@example.com.