Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Postdoctoral positions available with PalEON

Three postdoctoral research positions are available with the PalEON project (A PaleoEcological Observatory Network to Assess Terrestrial Ecosystem Models), an interdisciplinary research group of paleoecologists, ecological statisticians, and ecosystems modelers working together to study how climate variations shape forest dynamics across a range of timescales (www.paleonproject.org). All postdoctoral positions have a desired start date of May, 2011.

Specific PalEON goals include developing a coherent inferential framework with rigorous estimates of uncertainty for paleoecological data, applying these techniques to reconstruct variations in forested ecosystems for the last 2000 years from the Great Lakes to New England, and then assimilating these datasets into a suite of regional-scale ecosystem models
to infer presettlement biogeochemical cycles. PalEON has recently received funding from NSF-Macrosystems to begin a two-year effort towards these goals, with an emphasis on initial development of methods and datasets, community-building, and interdisciplinary training in paleoecology, statistical ecology, and ecosystem modeling.

1. Postdoctoral Position in Paleoecological and Paleoclimatic Data Synthesis and Analysis

The primary responsibilities of this position are to coordinate the assembly of the witness tree, fossil pollen, charcoal, and paleohydrological datasets and analyze these datasets for intra- to interregional patterns of variance and synchrony. The postdoc will work closely with the other postdocs and the rest of the PalEON team towards the objective of fitting a full space-time statistical model to the paleoecological data and assimilating these reconstructions into the ecosystem model experiments.

Minimum qualifications are a doctoral degree in a relevant ecological or environmental science. The ideal candidate would have a strong familiarity with Quaternary paleoecological and paleoclimatic data, skills in paleoecoinformatics, knowledge of scripting languages such as Matlab and R, and experience with multivariate statistical methods. Experience with Bayesian hierarchical models, spatial models, and/or ecosystem models is also desirable.

This position will be based at the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin and will be jointly supervised by Drs. Jack Williams (University of Wisconsin) and Steve Jackson (University of Wyoming). This position is up to two years with a preferred start in early May 2011. Salary is competitive and this position includes health and other insurance benefits. See http://info.gradsch.wisc.edu/admin/hr/info/benefitschart.pdf for additional information. The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Interested applicants are encouraged to email a CV and cover letter with the names and contact information of three references to Alice Halfen (ahalfen@wisc.edu) with the subject line: PalEON Postdoctoral Application. For more information contact Dr. Jack Williams jww@geography.wisc.edu or Dr. Steve Jackson jackson@uwyo.edu. Evaluation of applications will begin April 4 and continue until the position is filled.

2. Postdoctoral Position in Ecological Statistics

This researcher will lead the development of statistical models, based on spatial statistics, state space, and data assimilation methods for the PalEON initiative, interacting with statisticians, paleoecologists, paleoclimatologists, and ecosystem modelers. Specific modeling challenges may include spatio-temporal modeling of paleoecological data, state-space modeling informed by ecological models, modeling uncertainty in radiocarbon dating, and spatial modeling of vegetation based on colonial settlement-era historical records. Strong applicants will possess a background in Bayesian statistical modeling, especially spatial modeling, state space modeling, or data assimilation. Applicants must be interested in working at the interface of statistics and ecology.

The postdoctoral researcher will be based at the University of Notre Dame’s new Department of Applied and Comutational Mathematics and Statistics and is supported in part by the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). This position will be supervised by Dr. Jason McLachlan at Notre Dame, with extensive input from Dr. Chris Paciorek at UC Berkeley, and interaction with other PALEON team members. The position is available for a two-year period, subject to annual performance review. We will consider applications on a rolling deadline. Funding is available for an immediate start, but we will consider start dates as late as summer 2011. Please email your CV and a cover letter with the names and contact information of three references to Jason McLachlan (jmclachl@nd.edu). The University of Notre Dame, an equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional and academic commitment to diversity, endeavors to foster a vibrant learning community animated by the Catholic intellectual tradition.

3. Postdoctoral Position in Ecosystem Modeling and Model-Data Synthesis.

The primary responsibility of this position is to coordinate the model-data inter-comparison activities and shared data among the modeling teams, to analyze model dynamics to make inferences about presettlement biogeochemical cycles, and to assess model-data fidelity across multiple models. The secondary responsibility is to help complete the Ecosystem Demography model runs for the model-data inter-comparison. Research questions focus on validating ecosystem models at centennial time-scales, making inference about pre-settlement ecosystem dynamics and biogeochemical cycles, and exploring the sensitivity of models to historical vegetation. Position will be supervised by Dr. Michael Dietze at the University of Illinois.

Minimum qualifications are a doctoral degree in a relevant ecological or environmental science. The ideal candidate would have experience with more than one of the following areas: ecosystem models, paleoecological data, Bayesian statistics, R, linux, computer programming, data assimilation, and climate downscaling techniques.

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications with to two years of funding available. The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Evaluation of applications is rolling with a preferred start May 2011. Interested applicants are encouraged to send a CV and cover letter with the names and contact information of three references to Melinda LaBorg laborg@igb.uiuc.edu. For more information contact Dr. Michael Dietze mdietze@illinois.edu

No comments: