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NSF-funded postdoctoral position in bioenergetic modeling of Antarctic albatrosses

Grant RW Humphries, March 4, 2014

A full-time postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. The postdoc will work as part of a multinational, multi-institutional NSF Polar Program funded project to study the bioenergetics and foraging strategies of endangered antarctic albatrosses. The postdoc will primarily be located in the lab of Dr. Leah Johnson at USF, jointly mentored by Dr. Sadie J. Ryan (SUNY-ESF), and will have significant opportunities to interact with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). This project entails international collaboration and travel.

The goal of this project is to answer the question: What are the population consequences of albatross bioenergetics and foraging strategies? This work will further a general understanding of how bioenergetics shapes behavior and drives population level processes, while providing an approach that can be used to guide conservation strategies for endangered populations. This position will focus on building individual-based models of albatross bioenergetics and foraging strategies, and will incorporate dynamic energy budget modeling and state dependent foraging theory. Further, a large amount of data are available for model validation and fitting, which will be approached using Bayesian methods.


  • The candidate must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in mathematical biology or a related field by the start date.
  • Candidates with a background in dynamic energy budget or other bioenergetic modeling, statistics, population biology, sea bird ecology, applied mathematics, or similar will be given preference.
  • Strong organizational, programming, and quantitative analysis skills are necessary.


  • Programming skills in R or C; knowledge of Bayesian statistics;
  • experience in quantitative ecological modeling, geographical analysis, bioinformatics, or spatial modeling.


  • Excellent oral/written communication; leadership and interpersonal skills;
  • demonstrated ability to work in teams. GIS skills a plus

The position is available beginning May 1, 2014, though the start date is flexible. Funding is available for three years. An initial appointment will be for one year with extension contingent on performance. Salary is $40-45K/yr, commensurate with experience, and includes full benefits.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter, CV, statement of research and career interests, and contact information for 3-5 references, as a single PDF, to Dr Leah Johnson. Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until position is filled.

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