The Whitehead Lab is hiring a post-doctoral research associate to study the chemical ecology of seed dispersal interactions! The successful applicant will collaborate on a 2-year NSF-funded project to understand how fruit chemistry in one of the most diverse groups of plants—the tropical genus Piper—impacts the dispersal services provided by frugivorous bats (Carollia spp.) and secondary removal and dispersal by ants. The post-doc will lead experiments to determine how fruit chemistry impacts bat and ant seed handling, and how animal handling, in turn, impacts seed chemistry and seed germination success. In addition, the applicant would be expected to develop their own projects that relate to the general research areas of the lab and to serve as a mentor for a culturally and ethnically diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students in the field and lab. The post-doc will join a center of excellence in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology at Virginia Tech and will conduct extensive field research at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The exact start date is negotiable between July 15 and Dec 2019.
*Qualifications* A PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology or a related field.
*Additional desirable experience* -Strong writing skills and evidence of ability to carry projects through to publication -Experience designing and carrying out field experiments -Experience handling bats or other vertebrates -Experience maintaining insect colonies and conducting laboratory bioassays -Background in analytical chemistry techniques such as GC/MS and HPLC -Statistical skill-set in mixed models and multivariate analyses, and experience with programming/data analysis in R -Proficiency in Spanish -Experience with supervision/mentorship of student researchers -Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in science -Strong organization skills and experience managing project logistics such as permits, travel, scheduling project personnel, maintaining equipment, and ordering/organizing supplies Please note that you don’t need all of these skills to be considered an excellent candidate. Most importantly, we want a field ecologist who is motivated to better understand the living world and excited to learn!
*To apply* Qualified applicants must electronically submit an online application at https://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/99342. The application should include a CV, a brief cover letter that includes a statement of interest and what you could contribute to the lab, and a list of three references with contact info. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Review of applications will begin on July 10, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. Apply to posting #SRO190119. Virginia Tech is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from women and minorities. Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Accessibility at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061. If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, please contact the hiring department or contact University ADA Services http://oea.vt.edu/ada-accessibility-services.html with any questions.
Information for Prospective Students
Graduate Research Opportunities I am potentially looking for motivated, independent graduate students (MS or PhD) to begin in Fall 2020. Please see the research section to learn more about current projects in the lab and read a few of our publications. If you have research interests that overlap with mine, please send me a brief letter describing your background and research interests and include a current CV. Also, please take the time to read this very helpful advice to prospective students (written by Deane Bowers at U of Colorado, but the same principles apply here). Graduate students will be supported with a combination of research and teaching assistantships in the Department of Biological Sciences. All students are also encouraged to apply for external fellowships such as the National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship (https://www.nsfgrfp.org).
Undergraduate Research Opportunities I am always looking for motivated undergraduates to join the lab. Generally students will begin as assistants on existing research projects, and can later advance to an independent project focusing on one of the several areas of research focus in the lab. Please contact me to discuss opportunities in the lab.