Postdoctoral Associate

Virginia Tech
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
May 18, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Description

The Postdoctoral Associate will provide scientific and logistic support to a population and habitat study of piping plovers and red foxes on Fire Island, Long Island, New York. Study is expected to continue at least until 2024, through annual incremental funding. Populations have been studied since Hurricane Sandy modified habitats in 2012. Incumbent will work closely with Co-PI’s Jim Fraser, Sarah Karpanty, and Dan Catlin, current project manager, Katie Walker, and M.S. student Sharon Dorsey. In addition to assisting with ongoing inquiries, the postdoctoral associate will develop other closely related lines of inquiry, and will be expected to publish work in refereed journals, prepare reports, and write proposals relative to piping plovers and red foxes and shorebird and coastal ecology. Duty station will be in Long Island (~April-August, housing provided) and Blacksburg, VA (~September-March). This is a collaborative laboratory, and collaborations among lab members is desired. Possible travel during the winter to work on a related shorebird project on shorebird stress physiology.

Recent project publications include:
• Robinson, S.G., D. Gibson, T.V. Rieke, J.D. Fraser, H.A. Bellman, A. Derose-Wilson, S.M. Karpanty, K.M. Walker, and D. H. Catlin. 2021 Piping plover population increase after hurricane Sandy mediated by immigration and reproductive output. Condor: Ornithological Applications. In Press.
• Weithman, C.E.*, S.G. Robinson*, K.L. Hunt, J. Altman, H.A. Bellman, A.L. DeRose-Wilson, K.M. Walker*, J.D. Fraser, S.M. Karpanty, D.H. Catlin. 2019. Growth of two Atlantic Coast Piping Plover populations. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 121:1–14. DOI: 10.1093/condor/duz037.
• Robinson, S.G.*, J.D. Fraser, D.H. Catlin, S. Karpanty, J. Altman, R. Boettcher, K. Holcomb, C. Huber, K.L. Hunt, and A. Wilke. 2019. Irruptions: evidence for breeding season habitat limitation in Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). Avian Conservation and Ecology 14 (1):19. DOI:10.5751/ACE-01373-140119
• Walker, K.M.*, J.D. Fraser, D.H. Catlin, S.J. Ritter, S.G., Robinson*, H.A. Bellman, A. DeRose-Wilson, S.M. Karpanty, and S.T. Papa. 2019. Hurricane Sandy and engineered response created habitat for a threatened shorebird. Ecosphere:10(6):e02771. DOI:10.1002/ecs2.2771
• Fraser, J.D. and D.H. Catlin. 2019. Habitat Ecology and Conservation of Charadrius Plovers. Pp. 217–243 in Colwell and Haig (editors). The Population Ecology and Conservation of Charadrius Plovers (no. 52), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
More information at

Required Qualifications

- Ph.D. wildlife ecology, or related field. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
- Demonstrated knowledge of statistics in an ecological framework.
- Analysis of populations using program MARK.
- GIS/geospatial analysis using ARC.
- Experience in bird banding.
- Excellent communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary research group
- Commitment to maintaining an inclusive work environment.
- Commitment to using research results for conservation and to collaborating with land. managers.

Preferred Qualifications

- Experience hiring and supervising field technicians.
- Record of peer-reviewed publications.
- Demonstrated knowledge of shorebird/coastal ecology.
- Demonstrated knowledge of Integrated population modeling.
- Demonstrated knowledge of R or SAS.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

June 7, 2021

Additional Information

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 veteran 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 Dana Keith at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Advertised: May 18, 2021
Applications close:

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