Opportunity Type:

A postdoctoral research position in Computational Disease Ecology Modeling at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, NM is now accepting applications. This Research Ecologist (Research Associate) position comes with a two-year term, great benefits, and opportunities to collaborate with USDA scientists and other ecologists across the country. Applications are currently being reviewed and the position is open until filled. A doctorate in hand is required for hiring, though applicants earning their degree during the Spring 2019 semester will be considered.

The Jornada is a research unit that focuses on addressing ecological problems in agro-ecosystems (http://jornada.nmsu.edu). The Jornada is a site within the ARS Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research Network and is a Long-Term Ecological Research site funded by the National Science Foundation (https://jornada.nmsu.edu/lter). This position will be in a team at the Jornada with a Big Data Initiative for agro-ecosystems that includes research on big data-model integration, geospatial analytics, spatio-temporal modeling, and novel software tool development to aid ecological problem-solving.

This position focuses on big data-model integration for predictive disease ecology and is one of the projects in the ARS Grand Challenges. This position will involve using large and diverse datasets to model complex interactions among multiple vectors (e.g. insects), hosts (e.g. livestock, wildlife), and transmission pathways leading to disease outbreaks across heterogenous landscapes in the US. Since these interactions occur over multiple spatial and temporal scales with both biotic and abiotic components, datasets will come from a variety of disciplines and sources, e.g. remote sensing, epidemiology, soil science, hydrology, range science etc. Tasks will include developing and applying novel computational and statistical approaches for analysis and visualization of these datasets and how the land surface template affects the spread of diseases.

We welcome applicants interested in modeling complex systems, machine learning, handling a diverse set of big data, and collaborating in a trans-disciplinary team to solve landscape to continental-scale ecological problems. Applicants with quantitative and computational backgrounds in landscape or ecosystem ecology, geography, or environmental sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Additional details and complete application instructions are available at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/505091200. Interested applicants are also encouraged to contact Dr. Debra Peters (deb.peters@ars.usda.gov or peters.debra@gmail.com) with questions.