Murrow Lab

Applied Spatial Wildlife Ecology




Postdoctoral Researcher– Waterfowl Distribution, Telemetry, and Disease Modeling


The University of Maryland in collaboration with the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is searching for a highly motivated and talented individual to work as a postdoctoral researcher on projects focused on analyzing movement data from wild birds, developing distribution models for waterfowl, and modeling the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza transmission at the wild bird-domestic bird interface.  This position will be based out of PWRC, a world renowned research facility located within 15 minutes of University of Maryland offices, and within 30 minutes of Washington D.C.

Project description:  This position includes multiple projects related to bird movements from telemetry data, distribution modeling using existing datasets, and disease modeling. In a pilot project currently underway, species distributions of waterfowl across the United States are being modeled for inclusion into AI transmission risk models. Further development of these models and comparisons to alternate approaches will be part of this work. The analysis of migration data for waterfowl and relationships with poultry and avian influenza outbreaks also falls in the scope of this work. Analyses and development of peer-reviewed journal articles are expected products. The selected candidate will work directly with Dr. Diann Prosser (USGS) and Dr. Jennifer Murrow (UMD).


Required expertise/skills: 

The ideal candidate has a doctoral degree in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Natural Resources, GIS, Statistics, Mathematics, or a related field.   The candidate must be highly motivated and able to work independently. It is also critical that the selected candidate have extensive experience in R or other related statistical software, and be proficient in GIS, species distribution modeling, and analysis of movement data. Specific experience with INLA and STEM modeling is advantageous. Ability to write peer-reviewed manuscripts is a requirement.

Eligibility requirements:  The selected candidate must successfully complete a criminal background check as required for access to government computers and properties.

Description of working conditions:  Work will be performed predominately in the office environment located in Beltsville, Maryland (PWRC) and with at least one day per week at the University of Maryland. However, the potential exists for occasional field work which may require transportation via mid-sized (20-40’) open boats.  Extreme weather (hot summers, cold winters, high winds) and uncomfortable environments (biting insects) may be encountered.  Extended periods of computer use will be required in this position.

Compensation:  Hourly rate for this position is approximately $21/hour or $45,000/year.  The University of Maryland offers a full, competitive benefit package. Compensation for housing, meals or other living expenses is not provided while working at the principal duty station. 

Approximate start date for the position is December 2017 (preferred) or January 2018.  This position is funded for 18 months with potential for extension to 36 months.

Principal Duty Station:  While this position is offered through the University of Maryland, the primary duty station is PWRC.  Presence as lab manager at the University will require 1-2d per week at the University office.

How to apply:   Send the following to by 11/30/2017 (applications will be reviewed as received) with “Modeling Postdoc” in the Subject header:

1)      Letter of interest, CV with publication list, 3 references, and one peer-reviewed writing example in a SINGLE document titled with your name (eg. DoeJohn.doc or SmithJane.pdf).