Job Postings

Postdoctoral research associate, endangered species modeling, University of Michigan

A postdoctoral research associate is sought in the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. The successful candidate will be located on the Ann Arbor campus and supervised by Dr. Neil Carter ( The candidate will contribute to the Carter Lab’s objective of developing computational tools for understanding how social and environmental factors, and their interactions, influence the capacity for people and wildlife to coexist on shared landscapes. The successful candidate will assist with 1) developing and implementing agent-based simulations of interactions between humans and wildlife; 2) analyzing and visualizing simulation outputs to share with decision makers; and 3) writing scientific, peer-reviewed publications.

Information on future changes in populations of endangered species is critical for their conservation and a vital tool for managers. However, forecasting how endangered species will respond to anthropogenic pressures is challenging, given that landscapes are constantly changing and empirical data on wildlife-habitat relationships in novel conditions often do not exist. The successful candidate will help address this challenge by contributing to an ongoing effort to develop and implement predictive computer models of animal population dynamics that account for changes in the environment and human activities. The models are spatially explicit and will provide insights that help inform land planning and conservation strategies that safeguard endangered wildlife species in the future. The successful candidate will also advance their professional development by building a quantitative toolkit that is valuable for both basic and applied sciences.

The position is a one-year term-limited position, with the possibility of extension based on performance, need and funding.

• Expand the application of a spatially explicit, agent-based model (using Repast Simphony) that simulates the movement and population dynamics of globally-endangered tigers in South Asia.
• Use the model to assess existing and future threats to tiger populations across contexts and scales, including road and settlement development, poaching, human-tiger conflict, and climate change.
• Apply the model to large landscapes with multiple land-use types and tiger source populations.
• Use the model to test different management and planning scenarios to better inform conservation decision making.
• Helping write scientific and annual reports, as requested.

Required Qualifications
PhD (by start time of position) in Computer Science, Conservation, Ecology, Geography, or related field, from an accredited university. Competitive applicants will have strong numerical modeling background and experience with computer programming and coding (R, Java), GIS and remote sensing applications, analyzing large datasets, and working in collaborative teams. Strong written and verbal communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work both in a team environment and independently are required.

Desired Qualifications
Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with developing agent-based models, especially using the Repast Simphony modeling platform, as well as parallel computing, scenario testing, and uncertainty analyses. Experience with NetLogo software is desired. Preference will be given to scholars with a proven publication record.

Application Deadline
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

How to Apply
To submit an application, please visit:
This position start date is July 15, 2020, but is flexible and could start at another time in the summer. To apply please combine a CV, cover letter (max 2 pages) describing your qualifications for the position. Review of applications will begin January 15, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. Women and under-represented minorities are encouraged to apply. The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity employer. Questions about the position can be addressed to Dr. Neil Carter ([email protected]).

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


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