Opportunity Type:

The Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA) invites applicants for a postdoctoral Research Associate position in quantitative population and community ecology. The position is part of an NSF-funded research project focused on the widespread ecological phenomenon of synchrony, the tendency for populations in distant locations to rise and fall in unison. The collaborative project is investigating the patterns, causes, and consequences of synchrony for kelp forests in coastal California.

Synchrony is a central feature of the population dynamics of myriad species, and is important for diverse connections including conservation, ecosystem functioning and stability, and natural resource management. The big questions we are pursuing with this project are: (1) What are the drivers of synchrony and how do they change across scales in space and time? (2) How does synchrony cascade to affect community structure, ecosystem function, and stability? (3) To what extent does synchrony propagate spatially across ecosystem boundaries?

We are using kelp forests and sandy beaches in coastal California as model ecosystems to resolve these pressing questions. The position will focus on analyzing several large-scale, multi-decadal ecological and oceanographic datasets, however there is considerable latitude for exploration of diverse topics within the broad research area. The overall project is a collaboration of remote sensing specialists; marine biologists with deep expertise on coastal systems; and quantitative population and community ecologists who have been at the forefront of statistical methods development for studies of synchrony.

The postdoctoral research associate will join a collaborative team of principal investigators, postdocs, and students at the University of Virginia (Max Castorani, Jonathan Walter); University of Kansas (Dan Reuman); University of California, Los Angeles (Kyle Cavanaugh); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Tom Bell); and the Marine Biological Association of the UK (Lawrence Sheppard). There is substantial technical support for data analysis and data management. The position is based at UVA in Charlottesville, Virginia.


At the time of appointment, the candidate will hold a Ph.D. in ecology, environmental science, marine science, oceanography, applied statistics, or a related field. Ideal candidates will have interests in population or community ecology and strong quantitative skills, such as data analysis, ecological modeling, or scientific programming. A background in marine ecology is ideal, but not necessary. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and a proven capacity to publish original research in peer-reviewed journals are required. The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.


Apply online at https://uva.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/UVAJobs and include (1) a cover letter describing your motivation, previous relevant experience, and research ideas related to the advertised position; (2) curriculum vitae; and (3) contact information for three individuals who can provide professional reference letters upon request.

Please note that multiple documents can be uploaded in the box.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin July 27, 2022. The start date is negotiable. The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.

Initial appointment will be for one year, with anticipated funding for a total of two years, conditional upon performance. UVA offers competitive salary and excellent benefits to its community of more than 300 postdoctoral researchers and scholars.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Max Castorani, Assistant Professor, at castorani@virginia.edu.

For questions regarding the application process, contact Rich Haverstrom, Faculty Search Advisor, at rkh6j@virginia.edu.

For more information on the benefits available to postdoctoral associates at UVA, visit postdoc.virginia.edu and hr.virginia.edu/benefits.

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The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person’s perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.