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E Desmond Lee Professor of Zoological Studies (Associate or Full Professor)

Hiring Department

Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Job Description

Nominations and applications are invited for the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professorship in Zoological Studies to be filled by an outstanding scientist in an area of research that incorporates ecology, evolution, and conservation approaches to animal diversity. The appointment may be made at either the associate or full professor rank. This tenured position was established to enhance the partnership between the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo, where the endowed professor will have senior scientist status. The professorship is one of 36 endowed professorships comprising the Des Lee Collaborative Vision (DLCV,, which are distinct from more traditional academic positions in having a responsibility for community outreach and engagement. Therefore, we seek a broadly interactive colleague who is interested in crossing disciplinary boundaries within science and from science to the larger community.

The Des Lee Endowed Professor in Zoological Studies is expected to pursue an active program of research in zoology and oversee a laboratory at the University that facilitates the training of students. Areas of particular interest are ecology, evolution, and/or conservation. The endowed professor will be engaged in community outreach and will have teaching responsibilities. The professor is expected to take an active and integrative approach and exhibit, in his or her scholarship, both intellectual rigor and accessibility to a wide range of diverse audiences. In keeping with the Des Lee Collaborative Vision, the successful candidate will have demonstrated interest in, and skills relevant to, engaging scholars outside his or her focused research specialty, and in engaging a public outside the academy. Laboratory and office space at the University, in addition to all research facilities at the Saint Louis Zoo, will be available to the successful candidate. The position includes an annual budget in support of the collaboration between the University and the Zoo.


Must have a PhD at the Associate or Full Professor Rank.

Application Materials

Application materials should include a cover letter outlining qualifications and interests, detailed curriculum vitae, statement of current and future research plans, and a statement of experience and plans in community outreach, along with names and contact information for three references from whom letters may be requested
- If you have questions regarding this position, please contact Dr. Aimee Dunlap.

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed beginning January 30, 2023, but will be accepted until the position is filled. The position will be available beginning Fall 2023, but the start date is negotiable.

Other Information

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is a leader in partnerships with key institutions in the St. Louis Region. Alliances and programs have resulted from collaborations with the Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Science Center, Danforth Plant Science Center, and many others. The partnership with the Saint Louis Zoo includes collaboration with the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL (, which promotes research and education in ecology, evolution, and conservation, and participation in our outstanding graduate program that attracts top scholars from around the world. The Department of Biology also has an active research group in cell and molecular biology and participates in a joint program in biochemistry and biotechnology. The Saint Louis Zoo has two Institutes dedicated to the conservation of species around the globe: The WildCare Institute (, with its 17 Conservation Centers dedicated to Conservation Research, Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation, and Support of Communities that Coexist with Wildlife, and the Institute for Conservation Medicine with its One Health perspective.

As one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse campuses in Missouri, UMSL is committed to maintaining a climate where students, faculty, staff and visitors can explore their interests, refine their talents and flourish. Inclusive excellence is embedded in our strategic plan which focuses on actions to recruit and retain diverse students and employees and promote activities that encourage civil and constructive discourse, reasoned thought and sustained dialogue in an environment of inclusion, respect and appreciation. The Department of Biology values collegiality, collaboration, and curiosity. We strive to create an environment where our faculty and students can thrive. In order to foster the knowledge and talent required to tackle the challenges of the modern world, it is essential to have a variety of voices, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences at the table.

Benefit Eligibility

The University of Missouri - St. Louis offers benefit-eligible employees a wide variety of benefits including: health, dental and vision coverage effective on the first day of employment, retirement, paid time off, tuition assistance for employees and their dependents and employee and dependent life insurance. For more information about our benefits, please visit:

Diversity Commitment

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:

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