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Research scientist at USDA to develop risk assessment models and adaptive surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 at the deer-human interface

Digested version of USAjobs announcement USDA-WS-NWRC-2WS064

Descriptive title: Disease modeler
Official title: Biologist (computational)/mathematical statistician/Statistician (applied – biology)
Type: Full-time, 3-year term
Duty station: NWRC, Fort Collins
Series: 0401/1529/1530
Grade: GS-11/12 ($72,995-$87,491 annually + benefits)
Start date: ASAP after official announcement

We are looking for a disease modeler to develop spatial models of SARS-CoV-2 (SCV2) risk at the deer-human interface. The models will be used to plan national-scale surveillance in the USA. The modeler will work with APHIS scientists, managers, and national program coordinators to develop an adaptive risk-based surveillance approach, and with a software developer to automate the data assimilation, risk assessment modeling, and surveillance design outputs into a user-friendly application. The position is located in Fort Collins, CO at the National Wildlife Research Center of USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services.

• Develop spatial models of SCV2 risk in white-tailed deer and other cervids using national-scale surveillance data.
• Develop sub-models of relevant epidemiological processes as needed (e.g., deer movement, human-deer interactions, density, etc).
• Analyze and integrate appropriate geographical information systems (GIS) and diverse surveillance data (including virus genomics, PCR testing, and serological data).
• Publish articles in peer-reviewed journals.
• Give oral presentations at scientific conferences.
• Prepare high-level reports and oral presentation of results for policy makers and funders.
• Coordinate data collation, analysis, and reporting among research and stakeholder partners.

Must be a USA citizen.
Must be proficient at:
• Applying modeling techniques and procedures.
• Developing algorithms to predict disease spillover and hotspots of transmission.
• Analyzing data using probability statistics and other appropriate techniques.
• Designing and performing computer simulations.
• Generating de novo or modifying established modeling methods.
• Coding in a programming language (e.g., R, Matlab, C++, Python, or similar).
Must have:
• Strong expertise in quantitative ecology/disease ecology/epidemiology.
• Demonstrated research competency in the fields of applied statistics, computational biology, disease ecology, and/or spatial ecology.
• Ability to integrate diverse data streams including virus genomics, PCR diagnostics, and serological surveillance data to jointly inform disease risk.
• Ability to understand and address a variety of research needs and program priorities related to control of wildlife or livestock disease management.
• Ability to effectively and efficiently communicate technical information both orally (at conferences, workshops, and meetings with stakeholders) and in writing (for peer-reviewed publications) at all levels and be able to communicate their meaning to diverse audiences.
• Ability to effectively coordinate and promote program activities to stakeholders and external audiences.
• Proficiency with extracting and manipulating multiple large, discordant data sets.
• Knowledge of disease surveillance diagnostic assays and surveillance design and at the wildlife-livestock interface.
• Experience with implementing hierarchical statistical models that account for both ecological and data observation processes.

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Non academic
National Wildlife Research Center
Fort Collins, CO
United States
Closing date
August 8th, 2022
Posted on
July 8th, 2022 02:56
Last updated
July 19th, 2022 19:01