grassland postdoc – UA Fairbanks…work in CA

Subject: Postdoctoral position at UAF: Grassland food web dynamics and climate change in California

*Postdoctoral position at UAF: Grassland food web dynamics and climate
change in California *

*Desired start date:*summer 2014

*Duration:*2-2.5 years

*Salary:*$41,329.60/year plus benefits

*Location:*University of Alaska Fairbanks (Prugh lab), with fieldwork in

*Position Description*

We seek a postdoctoral researcher to work with a team of researchers
examining plant-animal community interactions and responses to climate
change in a California grassland. As the number of threatened species
increases, wildlife managers increasingly face the risk of inadvertently
harming some species when taking action to conserve others. Our study is
located in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a hotspot of
endangerment that faces threats from invasive plants and climate change.
The goal of our project is to gain a better understanding of direct and
indirect interactions among endangered and invasive species. Our
ultimate aim is to improve the ability of managers to predict how
climate change and actions such as cattle grazing will ripple through
the food web and impact community structure and function.

The postdoc will be based in the Prugh lab at the University of Alaska
Fairbanks and will also work with Justin Brashares at UC Berkeley and
Katie Suding at the University of Colorado Boulder. The primary role of
the postdoc will be to lead data analysis and manuscript preparation
using 7 years of existing data from our ongoing study. Existing data
include: plant biomass and composition; small mammal mark-recapture
data; invertebrate biomass and composition from pitfall traps; distance
surveys of reptiles, lagomorphs, and foxes; bird point counts; soil and
climate data; and cattle grazing intensity. The primary focus of the
study is on the role of a keystone burrowing rodent, the giant kangaroo
rat (/Dipodomys ingens/) in this community, with an emphasis on
understanding their trophic and engineering effects on plants and
invertebrates. For more information, please visit

In addition to working with existing data, the postdoc will have the
opportunity to assist with the initiation of a new NSF-funded field
experiment adding precipitation manipulations to our existing
experimental framework. A project manager will oversee logistical
operations at the field site, but the postdoc will be encouraged to
spend time in the field each year assisting with surveys and gaining
hands-on experience in the study system.

*Requirements: *A PhD in ecology or related field by summer 2014 is
highly preferred. Applicants must have a demonstrated record of
publication in peer-reviewed journals, including at least one
first-author publication in a major ecological journal. Strong writing
skills are required. Experience analyzing plant, invertebrate, or small
mammal data are especially desired. Experience using program R, running
mixed effects models, working with multivariate data, and/or using
Bayesian analyses are desired.

*To apply:*  Please visit  to apply for this position. Inquiries may be directed to Laura Prugh (  <>). Review of applications will begin May 27th. Position is open until filled.