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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 685967
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Natural Science
Department: Integrative Biology 10032920
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: 50000.00
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

The Zipkin Quantitative Ecology Lab seeks a postdoctoral scholar (Research Associate) to work with a team of researchers on an NSF funded project to develop integrated community models, a statistical modeling framework to unite multi-species data sources to estimate the status, trends, and dynamics of biodiversity. The projects goal is to create a flexible infrastructure for estimating species and community processes that can incorporate multiple data types on multiple species. The postdoctoral scholar will develop: 1) simulations evaluating the benefits gained by integrating common data types collected on multiple species, and 2) one or more empirical case studies on birds, small mammals, and/or butterfly communities. The richness of the available datasets allows for ample ability to explore many avenues of research and we seek a researcher with enthusiasm to pursue related projects that interests them. The postdoctoral scholar will work collaboratively with the PI (Elise Zipkin) and other postdocs and graduate students in the lab to develop models, carry out analyses, and write manuscripts.


The Zipkin lab values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment. Michigan State is an excellent place to be a postdoc, with an extraordinarily favorable cost-of-living to salary ratio, as well as many other labs engaged in exciting ecological research. The position is based at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) but remote location will be considered, especially while the covid pandemic is ongoing. The postdoc will have opportunities to attend workshops and conferences and become involved in other lab projects. This is a full-time, 12-month, fixed-term position, with reappointment conditional on satisfactory performance. The start date is flexible, ideally sometime during 2021.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Ecology, Statistics, Data Science

Minimum Requirements



Desired Qualifications

Ph.D. in ecology, biology, statistics, or a related field by the start of the position. Applicants are expected to have a strong background in mathematical and/or statistical modeling, ecology, and experience publishing scientific research. Knowledge of program R is required. Candidates with experience in Bayesian hierarchical analysis, integrated modeling, programming with JAGS and/or NIMBLE, and collaborative research are especially encouraged to apply.

Required Application Materials

Please submit the following as a single PDF: (1) a cover letter with your research interests and qualifications for this position (2-page max); (2) current CV; (3) contact information for 2-3 references; and (4) a recent first-authored paper.

Special Instructions

Applications will be reviewed starting January 20,2021, and applicants will be considered until the positions are filled. Please direct questions to ezipkin[at]msu[dot]edu.  More information on the lab and our research is available at


Review of Applications Begins On




MSU Statement

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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Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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