Careers at Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Associate

Apply now Back to search results Job no: 525501
Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Science
Department: Biological Sciences
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Research / Scientific

Job Description

A fully funded postdoctoral position in quantitative conservation biology is available in the lab of Dr. Meryl Mims in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. The successful applicant will help build and test a systematic indicator of species vulnerability to climate change with applicability across multiple species. This position is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Adaptation Science Center. The responsibilities of the position include working closely with a team of U.S. Geological Survey collaborators to: (1) identify, describe, and collate emerging approaches and best practices for use of occurrence data in assessing vulnerability of multiple species to climate change; (2) test, quantify, and report on the strengths and potential weaknesses of a multispecies indicator across taxonomic, functional, and geographic dimensions of diversity; and (3) work directly with natural resource managers from a range of sectors to co-lead this effort, ensuring its applicability and relevance to address the information needs of managers. To achieve these objectives, the successful candidate will aid in building and leading a team of climate vulnerability experts and practitioners – many of whom have contributed to existing climate vulnerability indicators designed to meet specific needs – to identify promising approaches and data sources for a generalized, robust, and scalable climate vulnerability indicator that can be applied to management decision making. With input from the team, the postdoc will lead efforts to identify focal species for which to test and validate the indicator against other vulnerability assessments for a subset of assessed species for which data permit. The successful applicant will identify taxonomic, functional (i.e., traits-based), and geographic dimensions across which the climate change vulnerability indicator can be generalized as well as constraints to generalization. The postdoc will help generalize the approach and results for application by other state and federal agencies, incorporate all outputs into a database allowing periodic updates, and organize a webinar series to reach out to and collaborate with other practitioner communities.

This position provides an immediate opportunity to connect with and contribute to dynamic research communities at Virginia Tech and beyond. The position will provide opportunities for first-author publications at the start of the position (Year 1) as well as leadership and publications of long-term efforts and collaborations (products expected in Years 2 and 3 pending contract renewal). The successful applicant will work closely with a team of collaborators from multiple institutions and agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey. The successful applicant will also join a growing community of ecologists and evolutionary biologists and their teams at Virginia Tech. The position includes funding for professional development, scientific communication, and networking opportunities, including conference presentations and travel.

Required Qualifications

- Ph.D. with expertise in landscape ecology, conservation biology, climate change vulnerability, and/or population biology. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
- Strong track record of collaboration, quantitative skills, peer-reviewed publications, project leadership, and communication with scientific and conservation experts and non-experts.
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate closely with graduate students, managers, faculty, and agency scientists from multiple institutions and backgrounds.
- Must be willing to travel to workshops and team meetings or block time for virtual attendance (up to 1 week at a time).

Preferred Qualifications

- Vulnerability assessment experience
- Geospatial analysis skills
- Experience with multispecies biogeographic information
- Familiarity with open-access databases, data and analytical organization (e.g., GitHub).
- An interest in and commitment to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience but within budget maximum

Review Date

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Additional Information

The specific start date is flexible and could begin as soon as June 2023 or as late as July 2023 for exceptional candidates; review of applications will begin on May 15, 2023, and preference will be given to candidates available to start by or before June 19, 2023. Candidates should submit to the website: 1) a cover letter explaining their research and future interests; 2) a CV; 3) a sample publication;4) names and contact information for three references. Please apply to posting #525501. Application screening will continue until the position is filled. Virginia Tech is committed to promoting inclusive and equitable opportunities for candidates from a broad range of backgrounds. We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups in ecology and STEM fields, including minority groups, first-generation college students, applicants from low income backgrounds, or applicants who followed non-traditional paths to academia.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dreama Price at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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