Postdoctoral research scientist for improving SARS-CoV-2 management in wildlife
USGS PWRC Eastern Ecological Research Center
Patuxent Wildlife Research Centert, Laurel MD - OR - Turners Falls, MA
Post Doctoral Appointments
Salary and benefits are competitive with support available for at least 13 months. Some travel funds will be available to support visits with study team members and outside cooperators, to attend regional workshops during model development, and to attend professional conferences. Postdocs will receive high-level training in decision analysis and disease ecology.
Last Date to Apply
We seek a postdoctoral scientist to provide scientific and decision support to resource management agencies working on disease management problems. The position will work closely with a cross-cutting and highly productive team of wildlife biologists, disease ecologists, quantitative ecologists, and decision analysts associated with the newly formed Disease Decision Analysis and Research (DDAR) group at the Eastern Ecological Research Center (formerly, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center). DDAR was formed to focus on emerging infectious diseases that have been identified by State and Federal management agencies as high-priority needs and that might challenge threatened and endangered species recovery, captive and wild population management, and human health. Our current work focuses on a diversity of disease systems including CWD, SARS-CoV2, avian influenza, amphibian pathogens, tick-vectored diseases, and white-nose syndrome in bats. Of particular need for this position is research and decision support for management actions that reduce potential spillover and spillback of SARS-CoV2 between free-ranging wildlife and humans.
Work will emphasize identifying optimal management strategies to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spillover and spillback between free-ranging wildlife and humans; however, due to the diversity of disease systems and skills of DDAR researchers there will be many opportunities to engage in other areas of interest. The candidate will work directly with state, federal, and tribal management agencies to identify and assess potential mitigation strategies to reduce risk of transmission and outcomes. The work will involve collaborating with managers to identify management objectives and mitigation actions, facilitating expert elicitations regarding parameters for which there are few data, developing and using models of human and wildlife population epidemiology to evaluate management strategies which may be effective at reducing transmission risk, and identifying research needs for future work to address various ecological and management uncertainties. Results of this analysis will be used by wildlife management agencies.
In addition to the duties outlined above and depending on the prior experience of the postdoctoral candidate, there will be an opportunity to receive specialized training in structured decision making, expert elicitation, facilitation, and quantitative modeling that directly aids in management decision making.