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

Vertebrate Collections Manager

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Closing Date
March 13, 2020

The School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University is seeking a full-time Research Specialist who will act as Vertebrate Collections Manager. The position is part of a dynamic, collaborative Biocollections and biodiversity data science group of faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and other researchers that recently relocated into a unified, 28,000 sq. ft. facility. This new and highly accessible infrastructure is located ca. 2 miles from the main ASU Tempe Campus, and forms part of ASU's BioKIC, Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center. As of 2018, our facility and personnel also constitute the primary Biorepository for NEON, the National Ecological Observatory Network.

The ASU Vertebrate Collections focus mainly on documenting vertebrate diversity in the Southwest U.S. and Sonoran Desert Region; and comprise the following four collections. (1) Ichthyology Collection; built most prominently by Wendell Minckley, with 24,000 registered lots (70% online) and more than 1,000 stained specimens. (2) Herpetology Collection; with 36,000 specimens (90% online). (3) Ornithology Collection; with 1,000 specimens (80% online). (4) Mammalogy Collection; with 9,000 specimens (95% online). These research collections are complemented by teaching collections located in the same facility. They are now also being complemented by annual additions of 20,000 vertebrate specimens, samples, and DNA extractions being received and accessioned by the continental-scale NEON Biorepository. A related, 4,000 sq. ft. cryo collections infrastructure addition will be completed in the summer of 2020. Although the NEON Biorepository has independently supported personnel, curatorial and managerial responsibilities are frequently coordinated across all collections.

BioKIC is a leading promoter of the Symbiota software platform, and is co-/managing an increasing range of biodiversity data portals that also feature vertebrate occurrence records. We therefore seek a candidate with a demonstrated background and/or willingness to become skilled in biodiversity informatics, portal management, and digitization workflows. We also strongly encourage the candidate to develop an active field- and collections-based research program at a level commensurate with the position, and possibly including systematic, biodiversity inventory, and ecological forecasting-related themes.

The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with curators, collection managers, students, and researchers affiliated with the Biocollections and the School of Life Sciences. Contributing to our diverse biodiversity/data learning programs is strongly encouraged.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment and two years related research experience; or Six years research experience appropriate to the area of assignment; or any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.

Desired Qualifications

  • Evidence of a Master's or Doctoral degree in Vertebrate Biology, or a related field with a focus on systematics, evolution, ecology, conservation, or vertebrate diversity documentation and forecasting using modern informatics tools.
  • Evidence of advanced, research-level expertise in vertebrate groups.
  • Evidence of curatorial skills that include specialized vertebrate specimen and sample preparation methods such as taxidermy.
  • Curatorial experience in vertebrate research collections, and experience in supervisory roles and under-/graduate student mentoring.(2 years)
  • Evidence of effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience in contemporary biodiversity data standards and tools.
  • Experience in collections-centered teaching and outreach activities is highly valued.

To Apply

For more information and to apply:

  1. Go to https://cfo.asu.edu/applicant
  2. Select "Non- / ASU employees" (as applicable)
  3. Search for position"59589BR"

Or directly: https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/Home/Home?partnerid=25620&siteid=5494#jobDetails=4001436_5494.

Inquiries to nico.franz [at] asu.edu are strongly encouraged.

A wide range of applicant profiles will be considered. Candidates who may not be immediately available to start in the position are nevertheless encouraged to apply.

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