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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 604754
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Natural Science
Department: Integrative Biology 10032920
Salary: 48000.00
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Position Summary

The project will connect fine-grained measurements of individual organism traits, like body size, to cross-scale drivers of biodiversity from plot to continental scales. The postdoctoral position involves: leading manuscripts, applying spatio-temporal techniques to detect and attribute disturbances and recent disturbance history from NASA satellite remote sensing products across NEON domains; generating geodiversity across NEON sites; analyzing drivers of intra- and inter-specific trait variation across NEON organisms (e.g., mammals, fish, beetles); and developing hierarchical models explaining NEON’s biodiversity across the United States as a function of local- to continental-scale biotic and abiotic drivers. The researcher will have the opportunity to mentor students and participate in broader impact activities. The position is based in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University under the supervision of Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske (, and involves collaboration with co-PIs: Sydne Record (Bryn Mawr College), Benjamin Baiser (University of Florida), and Angela Strecker (Western Washington University). Up to three years of funding are available. The position will begin as a one-year appointment with extension available depending on satisfactory performance. 

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

The successful candidate will have earned a PhD in ecology, statistics, remote sensing, data science, or related field by the position start date.

Desired Qualifications

Additional preferred qualifications include a strong background in ecological theory, biogeography, and spatial modeling; expertise in R, C, Shiny, Google Earth Engine, analyzing large remotely-sensed and point-level data, big data management, high performance computing and cloud computing; previous project management experience; and exceptional work ethic, professionalism, and collaborative skills.

Required Application Materials

1) a cover letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number). 

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin September 30, 2019, and the position will remain open until filled. Desired start date is January 13, 2020, but earlier or later start dates may be possible if identified in the application cover letter. 

Review of Applications Begins On



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Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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