Position Announcements

Post-doctoral Scientist Position iIn Aquatic Conservation Ecology

Description: Dr. Stuart A. Ludsin
(http://ael.osu.edu/people/ludsin) has two (2)
years of funding for a Post-doctoral Scientist
to use GIS and statistical modeling approaches
to understand land-use and climate-change
impacts on stream biodiversity in western Lake
Erie’s watershed and also help identify
appropriate agricultural conservation strategies
for the region.

The incumbent will lead a component of an
integrative, interdisciplinary biophysical
modeling effort in support of a funded USDA-
Natural Resources Conservation Service project.
This project is seeking to develop mechanistic
statistical models among biological endpoints,
water quality and flow attributes, and
agricultural conservation practices in the
Maumee River watershed, a large, predominantly
agricultural watershed that drains into western
Lake Erie (USA-Canada). These models, in turn,
would be used to forecast the cumulative
benefits of agricultural conservation practices
at multiple spatial scales and help resource
managers establish realistic performance goals
to inform conservation investments and planning
in the Lake Erie basin. The Post-doc’s primary
responsibilities will be: 1) to use GIS and
statistical modeling approaches to develop
predictive relationships between existing
riverine fish and invertebrate community
sampling data and various habitat attributes,
including natural physiographic variables (e.g.,
soils, drainage area), watershed disturbance
variables (e.g., percent impervious surface),
and predicted in-stream water quality and flow
data derived from a fine-resolution watershed-
hydrology (SWAT) model; 2) to identify
thresholds and ceilings for these relationships;
3) to use SWAT simulations to predict likely
changes to the relevant subset of in-stream
water quality and flow metrics and then work
with the larger project team to develop future
conservation scenarios for selected sub-
watersheds; and 4) to assess the ecological
benefits of these conservation scenarios
relative to their cost.

The Post-doc will be supervised by Dr. Ludsin
and work closely with a team of researchers and
support staff from the USDA-Agricultural
Research Service (role: develop the fine-
resolution SWAT model; provide SWAT predictor
variables; run future conservation scenario
simulations), The Nature Conservancy (role:
provide biotic response and predictor variable
datasets; coordinate the overall project), and
Ohio Sea Grant (role: provide web support and
outreach). A full-time technician, supervised by
the Post-doc, also will be available for
assistance.

The Post-doc is expected to write manuscripts,
present scientific papers, and help mentor
students that are conducting related field,
laboratory, and modeling research.
Opportunities, if interested, would exist to
gain university teaching experience, attend
training and informational workshops, and
possibly write grants. Ample computer support
would be provided, as would funds to attend
relevant scientific meetings.

Location: The incumbent would join a dynamic,
interactive group of faculty, post-docs, and
students at Ohio State’s Aquatic Ecology
Laboratory (www.ael.osu.edu/), which is housed
within the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and
Organismal Biology (www.eeob.osu.edu/). The
post-doc would work on campus in Columbus.

Qualifications: The successful applicant must be
creative, motivated, and capable of working well
both independently and cooperatively within an
interdisciplinary group. Minimum qualifications
include a PhD in ecology, aquatic sciences,
biostatistics, ecological engineering, or a
related field. Strong quantitative and
communication skills are required. While not
absolutely required, ideal candidates will have
expertise in GIS modeling. Expertise in or
familiarity with computer programming, spatial
statistics, and stream and/or landscape ecology
also would prove beneficial.

How to apply: Electronically submit a cover
letter, CV, and names/contact information of
three (3) references to Stuart Ludsin at
ludsin.1@osu.edu (please put “Post-Doc”
somewhere in the subject line). Application
review will begin on April 12 and will continue
until a suitable candidate is found. An ideal
start date would be spring or summer 2013. Feel
free to direct questions to Dr. Ludsin.