Postdoc Position: Waterfowl Movement Ecology, Avian Influenza, and Spatial-Temporal Models

We seek a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join our international, interdisciplinary research team studying waterfowl movements and avian influenza threats in the changing agricultural landscape of eastern China. The position will be stationed at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center (EESC) in Maryland via the University of Oklahoma (OU). A One-Health, Big Data framework approach will be taken, with collaboration among federal, academic, and international agency partners under this multi-year NSF-funded project. We aim for the selected candidate to begin work in February 2022.

Position Description: The postdoctoral researcher will focus on conducting geo-spatial analyses and simulation modeling projects to examine the role of waterfowl in the transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in China, an endemic region and epicenter of novel HPAIs. Modeling efforts will include developing agent-based models (ABMs) for wild waterfowl species and applying compartmentalized susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) disease models for highly pathogenic avian influenza transmission at the wild bird-domestic bird-human interface. Waterfowl movement ecology, species distribution modeling, and forecasting for the bird components will be inputs integrated with phylogenetic analyses investigating virus evolution and changes in agricultural systems in eastern China. The postdoctoral researcher will have an opportunity to work with many international scientists in collaborative studies. They will lead and coauthor papers advancing the areas of disease ecology, including One World One Health initiatives. They will obtain experience working with federal agencies including USGS and its science programs.

This postdoctoral researcher position will be hired through the University of Oklahoma and will be based at EESC as the off-site employee of the University of Oklahoma, under the supervision of Dr. Diann Prosser (USGS EESC, Co-Investigator of the project). The selected candidate will work with Dr. Diann Prosser, Dr. John Y. Takekawa (Consulting Waterfowl Expert), and Dr. Xiangming Xiao (OU, Project Director). The EESC is a world-renowned wildlife research center located in Laurel, Maryland, 30 minutes north of Washington D.C. The EESC in-lab interactions will include other post-docs, long-term technicians, graduate students, and interns.

Required Expertise and Skills: The ideal candidate will have a proven publication record with a doctoral degree in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Mathematics, Epidemiology, GIS, Statistics, or a related field. We seek a candidate who is highly motivated, able to work independently, and good at communicating within an international team with diverse scientific expertise. Candidates with Bayesian, Spatial, Movement Ecology, Agent-based Modeling, and Machine-Learning experience will be preferred. Proficiency using R is required. Experience using high performance computing, Python, ArcGIS, Github, is a plus.

Salary: Starting salary will be $53,000 per year with university employee benefits including medical, dental, and life insurance. Hiring is contingent on a background check. This position will be appointed on an annual basis with potential renewal up to four years, dependent upon candidate's performance and fund availability.

Application Materials: Interested candidates should send the following materials in a single PDF file to Dr. Diann Prosser at (1) a letter of research interest, (2) a CV, (3) a writing sample (preferably published), and (4) and contact information for three references. Please add “NSF Postdoc” in the subject line and name your file with your last and first names (e.g. DoeJohn.pdf). Applications will be reviewed as received with a closing date of December 31, 2021.

Contact Person: Diann Prosser ( – submit application here)

USGS Eastern Ecological Center and University of Oklahoma
Laurel, Maryland
Closing date
December 31st, 2021
Posted on
November 19th, 2021 14:17
Last updated
November 19th, 2021 14:17