First the ad for a PhD and Postdoc at UMaine
Two positions are open to work in Brian McGill’s lab at the University of Maine as part of a larger group of eight faculty in Maine and Vermont on a large grant: Barraccuda (Biodiversity and RuRal communities Adapting to Climate Change Using Data Analysis) (OK the acronym is a stretch and misspelled, but it gets the main ideas across!). We are a team of ecologists, social scientists and spatiotemporal data scientists. Goals include: 1) modelling the response to climate change in birds, trees, certain crops, and zoonotic hosts of certain diseases, 2) understanding how rural communities will adapt to the changing environment, 3) improving the toolset for ecologists and social scientists working with spatiotemporal data, and 4) learning how to better communicate these complex results to stakeholders (especially in agriculture). Our subteams are organized around these four themes.
- The PhD position will have as its primary focus working on theme #1 modelling responses of organisms to climate change. Funding is for one year with extensions possible for two more years depending on satisfactory performance and funds availability. There would also be teaching assistantships and the possibility for other grants to fill in up to 5 years of funding total. Requirements including a bachelors in ecology or related field and either existing skills or a strong desire to learn more data science. Opportunities to work and learn in other areas of the project also exist. A MSc is beneficial but not required. Stipend is $26K/year with annual cost of living increases plus coverage of tuition and health care. Start date is summer 2021.
- The postdoc position will be more integrative and would work across all four themes of the project (ecological modelling, social sciences, stakeholder engagement and data science). This position would also work closely with the Waring lab at UMaine. Again funding would be for one year with extensions possible for two more years depending on performance and funds availability. Requirements include a PhD in a relevant field (e.g. ecology or related, social sciences related to rural communities, or data science or related) and a strong desire to learn and work in the other two areas. The ability to work both collaboratively and independently is also essential. Salary is $48-55K/year commensurate with experience and with annual cost of living increases plus a strong package of benefits according to the UMPSA agreement including healthcare and retirement plan contributions. Desired start date is summer 2021 (although earlier or slightly later is negotiable).
The University of Maine is located in Orono, ME which has a low cost of living, supports a walkable/bikable lifestyle, and has exceptional access to the outdoors ranging from a river, a lake and a trail network in town to national parks and wilderness not far away. Being part of the Bangor Metropolitan area and a university also results in good access to cultural events and services like health care, restaurants and shopping. We have an airport with direct connections to most East Coast cities and are a four hour car or bus ride away from Boston. We also have great K-12 schools if you are at a life stage where that matters. If you’re looking for clubbing until 2AM and eating in a different restaurant every night of the week, it might not be a fit, but most everybody else finds the quality of life excellent here (it’s pretty cute what they consider to be a “traffic jam” here).
The University of Maine is an equal opportunity employer and members of underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. To apply please submit a cover letter explaining fit to and interest in the project as well as a CV as a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduate student applicants should also include a transcript (GRE scores are optional but may be submitted if the student wishes and the same for TOEFL scores if not a native English speaker). Please note that if selected, the graduate student applicant will also need to apply to either the School of Biology and Ecology or the Ecology and Environmental Studies PhD program, but this can be done later. Review of applications will start February 19th and continue until the positions are filled. Please contact Brian McGill at email@example.com with questions.
And the ad for a postdoc at UVM (University of Vermont)
Post-Doctoral Position- Species Distribution Modeling of Biodiversity and Adaptation of Farmers and Rural Communities To Climate Change
The University of Vermont is seeking qualified applicants for a two-year post-doctorate position, with potential for renewal for another two years, to use species distribution modeling to understand how biodiversity, farmers and rural communities adapt to the challenges of climate change. The project includes the aggregation and development of largescale datasets of biodiversity, farmer behavior and perceptions across US states, construction of mechanistic, spatially explicit models of range shifts with climate adaptation, and application of these models to farmer and rural community responses to climate change.
Funded through a National Science Foundation grant, the research project with collaborators at University of Vermont (Dr. Meredith Niles, Dr. Nicholas Gotelli, Dr. Laurent Hébert-Dufresne) and University of Maine (Dr. Tim Waring, Dr. Brian McGill, Dr. Kati Corlew, Dr. Matthew Dube), seeks to understand how both rural human communities and species populations will respond to challenges posed by climate change . The project will synthesize large amounts of data and develop new species distribution models to predict climate-driven shifts in species ranges as well as the responses and cultural adaptations of human communities. The project will also work with farmers and rural communities to understand their perspectives of the projected outcomes and responses. A successful applicant will work with a multidisciplinary team of biologists, social scientists and complexity researchers in Maine and Vermont.
The two main aims of this position are 1) to develop mechanistic, spatially explicit models of species range shifts, and 2) to develop a better understanding of the interaction of humans with biodiversity change and the ability of farmers and rural communities to adapt to climate change. This requires the assembly and analysis of species occurrence data (birds, trees, crops, and diseases), and datasets related to land use and farmer behavior. Tasks include the identification of existing public datasets, the curation, aggregation, and synthesis of multiple data types, and the generation of novel species distribution models and indicators of climate adaptation and associated behaviors. In addition, the post-doctorate will help to integrate these data with evolutionary models of cultural adaptation to climate change and engage with agricultural and rural communities, including in presentation of results to diverse stakeholders and policy makers.
The position is one of five new hires that form the core of the four-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation. The post-doctorate will be co-advised at the University of Vermont by Dr. Meredith Niles (www.meredithtniles.com) in the Food Systems Program of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Dr. Nicholas J. Gotelli (http://www.uvm.edu/~ngotelli/homepage.html) in the Department of Biology. The Niles and Gotelli labs have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research, biodiversity modeling, food systems science, and open access principles. Salary range will be $48,000-$52,000), depending on experience. There are a number of generous benefits associated with the position, which can be found at: https://www.uvm.edu/hrs/postdoctoral-associates-benefits-overview . The post-doctorate will also have opportunities for professional development and travel associated with the project, as relevant, as well as engagement with other professors on the project, especially Dr. Tim Waring, Dr. Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, and Dr. Kati Corlew.
- Successful completion of a PhD in a relevant field of biology, social science, or data science
- Demonstrated research and academic excellence evidenced by existing publications in relevant topics
- Experience constructing, fitting, testing, and comparing species distribution models with species occurrence data
- Excellent data science and social science quantitative skills
- Experience with data aggregation and curation, especially across diverse types of datasets
- Significant experience with Python and familiarity with other languages such as R, SQL, Stata, etc.
- Excellent communication skills and ability to work with an interdisciplinary team across multiple institutions
- Self-directed and ability to lead projects and learn new skills
- Mature, organized, professional and courteous
- Experience in interdisciplinary approaches to human behavior, especially in social-ecological systems
- Experience working with farmers or rural communities
- Strong interest and experience in data visualizations
- Understanding, or interest, in stakeholder engagement
- Understanding, or interest, in qualitative methods, including focus groups
- Enthusiasm for open data and science practices
- A cover letter detailing your interest in the position, how you meet the essential and desired requirements, and details of past research projects
- A CV or resume, including three references (with name, phone, email).
Review of materials will begin February 15th 2021 and continue until the position is filled.