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Postdoctoral Researcher – Spatial Ecology, Oregon State University

Position Summary
The Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in the College of Forestry is soliciting applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work as part of a collaborative effort between the laboratories of Dr. Matt Betts ( and Dr. Jim Rivers ( This position will assist with research projects that are investigating space use, habitat selection, and population ecology of the endangered Marbled Murrelet in western Oregon. The anticipated start date for this position is January 4, 2016; support is available for a minimum of 2 years subject to adequate performance review after 12 months.

Position Duties
The postdoc will work with existing data (e.g., LiDAR, Landsat TM, at-sea counts, nesting sites) and use species distribution modeling to integrate nesting data with at-sea observations to produce several high quality peer-reviewed publications. Publications will address several objectives that include but are not limited to:

  1. Determining the spatial scale(s) that predict murrelet occurrence and nesting, with a focus on the degree to which habitat amount and fragmentation influence occurrence and nesting.
  2. Evaluating the extent to which changes in terrestrial habitat adjacent to the ocean influences murrelet at-sea population densities.
  3. Using state-space models to understand movement of tagged birds using landscape and seascape data.
  4. Using data on distributions of murrelet nest predators to improve prediction accuracy of species distribution models.

Minimum/ Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in wildlife ecology or a closely related field
  • Computing skills including statistical software (e.g., SAS, R), spatial software (e.g., ArcGIS, Spatial Analyst, Erdas Imagine, Google Earth), and database programs
  • Professional competence in planning, designing, executing, and coordinating research
  • Demonstrated proficiency for independently writing scientific publications for submittal to peer-reviewed journals
  • Strong communication skills that allows for working effectively as a member of a large research team

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous research with spatial ecology of seabirds (especially alcids)
  • Knowledge and experience with forest management practices of the Pacific Northwest
  • Lead-author on publications using species distribution models
  • Experience with state-space models

Application Instructions
Applicants should create a single PDF file that contains (1) a cover letter addressing your qualifications as they relate to the specific duties and qualifications described in the position description; (2) a full-length curriculum vitae (CV); (3) the names and contact information (email, telephone, and mail) of three referees who may be contacted; and (4) two examples of peer-reviewed publications; this document should be emailed to Dr. Matt Betts ( with “Seabird Spatial Ecology Postdoc Position” in the subject line. For additional details about the position, including how to apply, visit the application web site and search for posting #0016471. For full consideration, apply by December 15, 2015. Applications will continue to be accepted after this date until a sufficient applicant pool has been achieved or the position is filled. The closing date is subject to change without notice to applicants.

Oregon State University commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

PhD Assistantship in Tropical Hummingbird Pollination Ecology

The Betts Landscape Ecology Lab at Oregon State University is now accepting applications for a PhD Graduate Assistantship in Tropical Pollination Ecology. The student will help to implement a new National Science Foundation-funded study examining the effects of tropical deforestation and keystone plant species decline on the structure of pollination networks. The student will develop their project as part of a team of researchers examining landscape effects on plant demography, genetic structure and hummingbird movements. This position is an excellent opportunity for a student interested in landscape ecology, conservation biology, pollination ecology and ornithology to gain valuable knowledge and experience in ecological theory, modeling, and empirical data collection (e.g., hummingbird banding, hummingbird movement tracking and pollination ecology techniques).

The field portion of the work will take place at the Las Cruces Biological Station, Costa Rica. This Organization for Tropical Studies site has a long legacy of research in tropical ecology and hosts many other ongoing projects. Oregon State University is among the top U.S. universities for scientific productivity in environmental sciences and conservation biology.

Applicant requirements:

  • A Masters degree in Biology or related field (e.g., Environmental science, Zoology, Wildlife Ecology etc.). Highly accomplished undergraduates will be considered under special circumstances.
  • GPA >3.5
  • Strong previous experience in field research (preferably both ornithological and botanical)
  • Upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level courses in statistics
  • Previous experience working effectively with a team (preferably as field crew leader)
  • Excellent physical condition (the position requires traversing mountainous terrain through primary and secondary tropical forest).
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing in peer-reviewed literature
  • Applicants with existing funding (e.g., NSF, NSERC, Fulbright, graduate assistantships) will be given high priority.

To apply: For full consideration, send (1) a letter of interest, (2) resume, (3) GRE scores, (4) transcripts (unofficial transcripts are sufficient), (5) writing sample, and (6) contact information (email and phone number) for three references to: Prof. Matt Betts and Dr. Adam Hadley. For questions regarding the application process, contact Dr. Hadley by email. For questions regarding the application process, contact Dr. Hadley by email. We will begin reviewing applications on Jan. 2nd 2016.

A Message to Prospective Graduate Students

The Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society does not have a large undergraduate program and therefore Teaching Assistantships are limited. As a result, my capacity to take on new grad students is usually contingent on new grant funding. New positions that are specific to these grants will be posted below. If you currently have your own graduate funding (e.g., NSERC, NSF) and would like to work in my lab, please contact me directly.