Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Wildlife Co-Management

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois
Closing Date
1 December 2017

The Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks a highly motivated individual to study methods of wildlife co-management in agriculture settings. The successful candidate will be charged with developing and testing methods to reduce wildlife intrusion in agriculture production environments within the primary disciplines of animal behavior and life history. The individual will specifically focus on amphibian intrusion in leafy green environments and the work will involve both field and lab opportunities. The successful candidate will collaborate closely with agricultural and biological engineers, wildlife biologists and farm owners/producers to design and test non-invasive exclusion methods. The position will require out-of-state travel to field sites and extended stays on site during field seasons.

Successful candidates will be provided with excellent facilities and access to core facilities such as the W. M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics, and the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center. The Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) are widely recognized for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, outreach, and international programs. Potential collaborations exist and are encouraged both within and outside of the department in agriculture and biological engineering, genetics, reproduction, environmental monitoring, crop science, and veterinary medicine. 

This position will start as soon as possible after the close of the search.

Responsibilities include:

  • Fieldwork includes building and implementing drift fences and traps, collection of data, preparation of study sites, preparation and maintenance of materials for experiments
  • Handling of live animals (e.g., amphibians, reptiles, small mammals) in the field
  • Field data collection (with a strong emphasis on vertebrate relative abundance and diversity)
  • Study site preparation including preparation and acquisition of materials to build fences as well as carry out the construction and implementation of fences on site
  • Laboratory work includes care and handling of live animals (amphibians)
  • Collection of data and completion of all duties must adhere to scientific and safety protocols
  • Data analysis using a statistical platform, report preparation and manuscript preparation
  • Interact with farmers and industry personnel
  • Supervise undergraduate students and interact with graduate students
  • Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends. 

When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may frequently weigh up to fifty (50) pounds and occasionally weigh up to seventy-five (75) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements.

More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the Department of Animal Sciences by contacting cdthoma2 [at] illinois.edu.


  • Ph.D. degree in Biology, Animal Sciences or a closely related field.
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Demonstrated experience working with live amphibians, reptiles, or small rodents in a field or laboratory setting, preferably field setting.
  • Interest and experience in herpetology, particularly amphibian biology, is preferred.
  • Excellent writing, communication, and statistical skills.
  • Ability to work independently and supervise a small team in the field and lab settings.
  • A commitment to research, and an ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a research statement and the names and contact information of three references by December 1, 2017 to Michelle Green, mlgreen [at] illinois.edu. Position will remain open until filled. For further information please contact Michelle Green, Department of Animal Sciences, mlgreen [at] illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

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