Research Associate in Fisheries and Wildlife

Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

United States

Research Associate-Fixed Term

Apply now Job no: 694182
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Fisheries And Wildlife 10002344
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Research/Scientific, Non-Union

Position Summary

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate, under the supervision of Drs. Kim Scribner and John Robinson in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University.  The successful applicant will join an established collaborative network of researchers at Michigan State University, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE).  The successful candidate will contribute to a state-funded project focused on utilizing a large suite of established Red Swamp Crayfish SNP loci to reconstruct pedigrees to characterize environmental features associated with aspects of the species’ mating system, invasion routes, historical demography, and colonization history across Michigan landscapes.  The appointment is for 18 months beginning in July 2021 through December 2022.  The successful applicant will be provided opportunities to engage in a wide variety of professional development activities, depending on their areas of interest (e.g., participation in scientific meetings, mentoring in programming and scientific ethics, workshops in a targeted area of study, guest lectures, participation in other collaborative population genomics research).  Some travel is possible to participate in field collection activities with project collaborators.  Opportunities to participate in planned outreach efforts associated with this project are also available.

Background:  Improved understanding of Red Swamp Crayfish population dynamics would greatly aid Red Swamp Crayfish control efforts in Michigan.  Currently, little is known about mating ecology and movement dynamics among waterbodies across heterogeneous and human-altered landscapes.  The specific source populations, sexes, ages, and rate of dispersal and demographic changes associated with colonization are unclear, particularly due to the recency of founding events, yet such information is critical for targeted management actions.  The over-arching project goal is to utilize a large panel of SNP loci established by our group to improve the understanding of Red Swamp Crayfish population dynamics in Michigan to improve control strategies. Specific objectives are to 1) use genomic methods to quantify gene flow among infested waterbodies in Michigan, 2) identify landscape features associated with increased gene flow, and 3) estimate effective number of breeders and inter-individual variation in reproductive success.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Genetics, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology,

Minimum Requirements

Demonstrated experience in population genetics and well-developed computational skills.  In particular, experience with production of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data sets is required.  Applicants should demonstrate an interest in joining an established interdisciplinary research team working at the interface of population genomics, landscape ecology, and natural resource management.

Desired Qualifications

Previous experience with programming (R, Python, C++) and analysis of population genomic data (pedigree analysis, Approximate Bayesian Computation, unsupervised clustering) is desirable.  Other desired qualifications include a strong work ethic, problem-solving and time management skills, experience working with a team and communicating scientific results.  

Required Application Materials

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, statement of research interests, and contact information for three references.  In addition to the materials above, code (e.g., link to a GitHub repository) and writing samples (i.e., one or more recent publications) are also strongly encouraged, and will be considered during review. 

Special Instructions

For questions about the position or application process, contact Dr. Kim Scribner ( or Dr. John Robinson (

Review of Applications Begins On



Department Statement

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife was established in 1950 with faculty drawn from several different units. Since that time, both the faculty and the issues of importance in fisheries and wildlife have changed significantly. Our Mission, Vision, and Values build on our core strengths and prepare us for continuing change in societal needs, scientific understanding, and educational priorities.  Our mission is to build local, national, and international capacities to conserve ecosystems that support fish, wildlife, and society through integrated programs in research, education, and engagement.

We believe a diverse, inclusive working and learning environment enriches the department and fosters innovation in teaching, research, and engagement with partners and the public.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Mar 4, 2021 Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: Mar 4, 2023 Eastern Standard Time

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