Postdoctoral Researcher in quantitative ecology to inform management decision making for marbled murrelets in the Pacific Northwest/ Corvallis, Olympia

Oregon State University
Corvallis OR, Olympia WA
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
$57K – 67K depending on qualifications
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University invites applications for a full-time (1.0 FTE) Postdoctoral Scholar position to work under the supervision of Dr. Jim Peterson (Oregon State University) and Dr. Adam Duarte (USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station). The postdoctoral researcher will use quantitative methods (e.g., demographic estimation, ecological modeling, decision analysis, etc.) to integrate ecological principles with monitoring, research, and management for the marbled murrelet (MAMU). The MAMU is a native seabird that is listed as threatened throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. The species has a complex life history, relying on nearshore coastal waters for foraging habitat and older terrestrial forests for nesting habitat. Given their habitat requirements and population trends, MAMU was one of the major drivers behind the creation of the Northwest Forest Plan, and actions aimed at conserving MAMU have direct effects on the people and economy of the PNW. Thus, forest management in the PNW necessarily involves the evaluation of potential tradeoffs between conservation objectives, such as promoting large stands of older forest habitat for MAMU, and other values, such as reducing risk of high-severity wildfires and supporting local economies and human resource needs through timber harvests. To aid the decision-making process, managers need information and tools that formalize these complexities into a common framework consisting of relationships among management actions, sources of uncertainty, and outcomes. Unfortunately, MAMU conservation and management is further complicated by MAMU being among the most difficult birds to study because every aspect of its behavior in forest habitats is designed to be cryptic to avoid detection by predators. Thus, although efforts have been devoted to monitoring different aspects of MAMU ecology, datasets collected in forest habitats are often sparse and their robustness to address information needs has been questioned. Thus, there remains a need to develop an integrated, adaptive framework for conserving MAMU and their habitats in the PNW. The preferred start date is flexible. Two years of funding are currently available with additional funds expected. However, the postdoctoral researcher will be hired on an annual basis and extended pending appropriate progress. The postdoctoral researcher has the option to be located at the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon or at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Olympia, Washington. Regular travel between these locations is expected. The postdoctoral researcher will have flexibility in research questions, but primary tasks will be to 1) merge and analyze existing MAMU monitoring and spatial datasets to examine broad-scale patterns in species distribution, 2) develop simulation models for MAMU population dynamics within a decision analytic framework, 3) present research results in written and oral formats for scientific and management audiences, and 4) contribute to pursuing new research questions and funding within the larger project objectives. An ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a multi-faceted research team is critical. Individuals interested in this position should submit a cover letter detailing how they meet the minimum and preferred qualifications as well as describing long term research objectives, electronic copies of a CV, and the names and contact information for a minimum of three individuals who can provide professional recommendations to support the application. Screening of applications will begin as soon as possible, and applications will be received and considered until the position is filled. The preferred start date is January 1, 2023 but is flexible for the preferred candidate. Please indicate your availability in your cover letter.
Candidates must have earned a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in ecology, wildlife science, or a closely related field by the start date of appointment. Strong applicants with an M.S. degree in ecology, wildlife science or closely related field will be considered for a Research Assistant position. Advanced degrees in statistics or computer science from applicants with ecological experience may also be considered. The candidate must have demonstrated strong quantitative skills (including statistics, GIS, database construction and management). Desirable skills include spatial analysis in R, species distribution modeling, and decision analysis. Preference will be given to candidates with a strong publication record and research interests aligned with the research team.
Contact Person
James Peterson
Contact eMail
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