Postdoc position in Fort Collins CO at USDA (funded via MSU); Determining optimal vaccination strategies for elimination of bTB in cattle.

Position Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Duty station: National Wildlife Research Center, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services
Funding and co-advised by: Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Salary: $55,000
Start date: negotiable, open until filled
Description: Full-time, two-year term

Position Summary

The successful candidate will work in collaboration with scientists from National Wildlife Research Centre (NWRC) in Fort Collins, CO USDA-APHIS and Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (MSU-FW). The MSU scientist (PI: Dr. Henry [Rique] Campa III) works on wildlife habitat ecology and ecosystem management, with an emphasis on wildlife-habitat interactions and the effects of disturbance on species, populations, and communities. The NWRC scientists (PIs: Dr. Kim Pepin and Dr. Kurt VerCauteren) are applied quantitative and field-based disease ecologists (respectively) with emphasis on understanding spatial processes of disease spread for risk assessment and control. The duty station will be at NWRC in Fort Collins in the Pepin group, although remote work stations will also be considered.

As part of a broader collaboration with researchers from USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services, and managers and veterinarians from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), we aim to provide methods for eliminating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Michigan. This is an excellent opportunity to develop a framework for understanding and managing spillover at the wildlife-livestock interface that will be applied in practice. The candidate will gain experience in working on a collaborative team with managers and researchers while expanding their skills in quantitative ecology and the scope of their professional networks. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to:

  1. Develop statistical models of bTB occurrence in free-ranging white-tailed deer and cattle that evaluate the effects of interventions using bTB surveillance data.

  2. Develop mechanistic transmission models to predict optimal spatial vaccination strategies in deer for eliminating bTB in cattle, while considering
    alternative control measures (e.g., habitat manipulation, biosecurity measures).

  3. Collaborate with research team members and natural resources managers from the USDA, MSU-FW, and the MDNR to meet the project goals.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Ph.D. degree by the start date of the position in a pertinent biological, physical, or computer science field with demonstrated experiences working on applied ecological problems using quantitative skills.
  2. Strong record of productivity and publication.
  3. Demonstrated competency in statistical modeling.
  4. Demonstrated abilities to work independently and on a collaborative, diverse team.
  5. Proficiency with a programming language (e.g., R, C++, Matlab,) and experience manipulating, cleaning, and linking diverse data streams.

Required Application Materials

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. The name of the file should contain the last and first name of the applicant (e.g., Doe.Jane.pdf). The letter of interest should include a statement of the applicant's areas of interest regarding ecological research on spatial disease ecology and/or control of disease in wildlife or at the wildlife-livestock interface, including the applicant's perception of the most important research questions in this discipline, the connections between these areas of research and the applicant’s prior work, and an account of the applicant’s skills in statistics, modelling, and other pertinent quantitative methods. Apply to: Posting #689873: Research Associate-Fixed Term

Special Instructions

For inquiries or questions, please contact Dr. Kim Pepin ( via e-mail with “bTB Modeling Postdoc” and/or Dr. Rique Campa (

National Wildlife Research Center - USDA
Fort Collins, CO
Closing date
June 1st, 2021
Posted on
March 28th, 2021 23:40
Last updated
March 28th, 2021 23:40