CWD postdoc at SIU Carbondale - integrate unique deer behavioral data into models to optimize CWD management

This is a pre-announcement - official announcement coming soon

Position Title: Postdoctoral Fellow (Southern Illinois University – Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab)
Location: Carbondale, IL
Salary: $55,000
Start date: negotiable (ideally Aug. 17th, 2022)
Description: Full-time, one-year initial term with strong possibility for extension depending on performance and project funding. The position is funded entirely from federal sources under a USDA Cooperative Agreement, where funding cycles are annual.

The successful candidate will work in collaboration with scientists from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and USDA-APHIS National Wildlife Research Centre (NWRC) in Fort Collins, CO. The SIU scientist, Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, works on spatial wildlife ecology, with an emphasis on animal movement. The NWRC scientist, Dr. Kim Pepin, is an applied quantitative disease ecologist. The NWRC scientist, Dr. Kurt VerCauteren, is an applied field ecologist. The direction of this research position will be crafted to take advantage of the applicant’s expertise, the capabilities of the SIU and NWRC science team, and unique datasets acquired in this project.

As part of a long-term collaboration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, we have collected multi-year fine-scale movement data on white-tailed deer does and bucks along a forest-agriculture gradient in Southern Illinois. We are expanding this tracking effort by deploying GPS collars with on-board cameras to 1) characterize the type of behaviors associated with deer contacts and, 2) assess what fraction of contacts are being missed using GPS tracking alone. These unique data provide an excellent opportunity to improve our understanding of deer contact structure that is relevant to CWD transmission and the role of behavior in shaping contact structure. The data will be incorporated into models of
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) spread to serve management planning. Potential directions will include:

  1. Developing methods for integrating behavior into deer contact structure and CWD transmission
  2. Developing mechanistic models of CWD spread to identify harvest strategies that minimize CWD prevalence
  3. Developing an application for managers that identifies strategies that minimize CWD prevalence in particular contexts


  1. Ph.D. degree in a pertinent biological, physical, or computer science field by start date of position.
  2. Strong publication record.
  3. Demonstrated competency in statistical or mathematical modeling.


  1. Experience in disease modeling; particularly fitting models to data to estimate contact structure or related epidemiological quantities.
  2. Experience in animal movement modeling or spatial processes.
  3. Experience in analyzing large datasets.
  4. Demonstrated experience working in collaborative research settings and communicating results to a variety of stakeholders.

Applicants should create a single document (Word or pdf) that includes a letter of interest that highlights the desired attributes specified in the job description, CV/resume, unofficial transcripts, and a list of three references and their contact information.
Position will be posted in June 2022. Review of applications will begin on July 1, 2022. In the meantime, for inquiries or express interest, please contact Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau ( via e-mail with “CWD Postdoc” in the subject line.
SIU Carbondale, member of the SIU System, is an anti-racist community that opposes racism, discrimination and inequity in any form, and embraces diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice for all people.

SIU Carbondale is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of
individuals with disabilities and protected veterans that strives to enhance its
ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff and to increase its potential to
serve a diverse student population. All applications are welcomed
and encouraged and will receive consideration.

Southern Illinois University
Closing date
June 30th, 2022
Posted on
May 17th, 2022 02:02
Last updated
May 17th, 2022 02:02