Postdoctoral Researcher in Ecology or Paleoecology
The university is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow with strong quantitative background to work on a three-year NSF-funded project on spatial and temporal patterns on soil arthropods and climate change at Rutgers University, NJ. The project aims to integrate paleoecological data, isotope geochemistry and community ecology to assemble, describe, and analyze the long-term responses (i.e., ~50 kyr BP years to present) of soil arthropod communities to changes in climate (i.e., precipitation). In this project we will sample and study arthropod fossil remains from rodent middens in the Atacama Desert as well as modern arthropod communities. These middens provide unparallel opportunities for long-term and large spatial scale studies of patterns of diversity and community structure of soil arthropods throughout the thousands of years. Exploratory samplings of rodent middens have provided information about the extraordinarily rich fossil assemblage from the Atacama Desert. The project aims to (i) reconstruct and describe temporal and spatial diversity patterns of ancient and modern soil arthropod communities; (ii) relate arthropod diversity patterns to changes in rainfall and plant productivity across spatial and temporal scales; and (ii) establish community-level baselines, and test for local to regional fidelity of modern, centennial and millennial-scale arthropod remains. In addition, this project will develop a toolkit for analyses of arthropod communities in paleoecological research. The successful candidate will spearhead exciting projects integrating neoecological and paleoecological approaches to understand the responses of soil arthropod communities to climate change. More specifically, the postdoc will lead field work efforts in Chile. The postdoc will also lead data analysis and manuscript preparation, and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. The position will allow for multiple professional development opportunities, including training in highly interdisciplinary science, collaborations across institutions, mentorship toward scientific writing, presentation, and professional development, and interactions with graduate and undergraduate students.
Minimum Education and Experience:
At the time of appointment, the candidate will hold a Ph.D. in ecology, paleoecology, zoology, biogeography, or a related field.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
1. Ideal candidates will have strong background on community ecology or paleoecology. 2. Demonstrated experience in one or more of the following research areas: species diversity patterns, paleoecology, terrestrial arthropods, climate change. 3. Strong quantitative skills, such as data analysis, ecological modeling, or scientific programming (preferable in R). 4. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and a proven capacity to publish original research in peer-reviewed journals are required. 5. Experience in organizing and managing a large-scale field project, including the management of field assistants. 6. Experience and ability to do extensive international field work. Travel to Chile will be necessary for at least two months each year. 7. Demonstrated ability to think and work independently and as part of a team. 8. Experience and interest mentoring students.
Technical skills: Taxonomic expert knowledge on major groups of arthropods is required; lack of determination knowledge is however not prohibitive. Experience with fossil databases will be highly valuable. Prior knowledge and research experience in isotope geochemistry are preferred but not required. Experience with bioinformatics and data synthesis projects is a plus. Familiarity with desert habitats is desirable. Knowledge in Spanish is desirable but not a requirement.
Posting Number: 21FA0183
Location: Rutgers University-Camden
Internal Number: 127357
About Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state's preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to turning knowledge into solutions for local, national, and global communities. As it was at our founding in 1766, the heart of our mission is preparing students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate and postdoctoral; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement. Rutgers is New Jersey's land-grant institution and one of the nation's foremost research universities, and as such, we educate, make discoveries, serve as an engine of economic growth, and generate ideas for improving people's lives.