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  • Writer's pictureJohn Poulsen

Now Hiring! Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher in Quantitative Interdisciplinary Ecology!

The Poulsen Lab at Duke University ( is seeking an outstanding postdoctoral researcher (PR) to contribute to two exciting projects: (1) Climate-Health in the Kafue Ecosystem, and (2) Pathogens to Pachyderms. Although distinct, both projects incorporate modeling forest structure through field measurements and terrestrial LiDAR in relation to natural and human disturbances. The first project, Climate-Health in the Kafue Ecosystem, is a new interdisciplinary project funded by the Duke Expeditions program with the goal of linking climate change with human health to alleviate adverse human health impacts in western Zambia. This project focuses on four growing health threats - respiratory illness, malnutrition, water-borne illness, and vector-borne disease. For each of these threats, the aims are to: (1) identify the direct and indirect mechanisms linking climate change

with human health, (2) determine the effectiveness of interventions, such as fire management and health education, in mediating the effects of climate change on human health, and (3) quantify whether interventions which effectively reduce deforestation can positively impact both environmental and health outcomes simultaneously. This project partners scientists with practitioners to design and implement a scientifically rigorous program with applied conservation and health goals

The second project, Pathogens to Pachyderms, is an ongoing NSF-funded project to evaluate the impacts of animals species on forest structure and diversity in tropical forest in Gabon. By following change in vegetation across eights experimental sites, the project aims to: (1) assess the relationship among trees and the organisms with which they interact over plant life stages, including fungi, insects, and t

errestrial mammals; and (2) quantify the degree to which defaunation alters these plant-animal interactions and tree recruitment. The position entails working with a dynamic, interdisciplinary team – including practitioners, health experts, social scientists, and ecologists. The PR will work in collaboration with the PI to ensure project implementation and management. There will be opportunities t

o visit the project sites in Zambia and Gabon to train field teams in methods and to evaluate rigor in data collection. A primary responsibility of the position will be the management and analysis of ecological and health data and the writing of high impact manuscripts. In addition, the PR will have opportunities to collaborate on grant writing and to mentor American and African undergraduate and graduate students. As such, we are looking for candidates with field experience, very strong quantitative, programming, a

nd modeling skills, and a demonstrated ability to write and publish. See the full ad here:

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