We have an immediate vacancy for up to two postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) to work on NSF-funded projects studying space-time dynamics in stable isotope ecology (ITCE: Inter-university Training for Continental-scale Ecology; and ORIGIN: Origin Inference from Geospatial Isotope Networks). These positions will be based at the University of Utah and overseen by a team of collaborators from University of Utah, University of Colorado Denver, University of Florida, Purdue University, and University of Southampton.
Project 1 will extend existing models to explore how stable H and O isotope signatures of consumers reflect animal behavior, physiology, and isotope dynamics in terrestrial or marine environments. Working with the project members, the PDF will couple temporally explicit isoscape models, agent based models of animal movement, and physiological biogeochemical models to explore isotopic consequences of specified traits. Model predictions will be tested against existing and new data for model systems expressing contrasting traits. Project goals include advancing understanding of controls on the isotopic composition of consumers, isotopic variation within and among individuals, and interpretation of stable isotope data in diet and movement-focused applications.
Project 2 will focus on the development of creative approaches and analytical tools for the interpretation of stable isotope data as indicators of geographic provenance (e.g., in studies of migration ecology, historic biogeography, paleoecology, archaeology, and forensics). The PDF will work with the project team to propose and test new approaches to the analysis and interpretation of isotopic markers in geographic provenance research, leveraging data from a range of natural systems. As a component of the project the PDF will create and distribute an R-based package of tools that implement the analysis frameworks developed and couple them with a spatially indexed isotope database (IsoMAP) and other publically available spatiotemporal datasets. The envisioned toolset will be of broad use in geographic provenance studies and establish cross-community standards for such applications.
Applicants should have working knowledge of stable isotope ecology, physiology, and/or biogeography, strong quantitative skills, and programming experience in R or similar scientific programming environments; previous experience with developing and maintaining code packages for CRAN is desirable. Although support is available for up to 2 PDFs to work in the project areas defined above, it is possible for an individual applicant to contribute to both areas depending on their interest and skills.
To apply submit curriculum vitae, a letter summarizing interest in one or more of the positions and career aims, and names and contact information for three references to Gabe Bowen (email@example.com). The project team will begin reviewing applications on October 1st and continue to accept applications until the positions are filled.
Gabriel J. Bowen
Geology & Geophysics
University of Utah