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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Expiration Date: 

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Illinois Natural History Survey
Prairie Research Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit


The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to synthesize responses and vulnerabilities of priority aquatic invertebrates to precipitation extremes across the Midwest. The project involves data aggregation, analysis, and synthesis needed to a) understand how aquatic invertebrates are responding, or will respond, to intensifying and increasingly variable precipitation extremes, and b) propose bioindicators for future study and potential integration with climate early warning systems and freshwater monitoring programs. 

The associate will work with an interdisciplinary team of invertebrate experts, ecologists, climate scientists, social scientists, and environmental outreach professionals from academia, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and consulting. The position is based in Champaign, Illinois (with possibility of remote work) and funded by the USGS Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.

Duties Include

  • Aggregating distribution and trait datasets for freshwater mussels, crayfish, and aquatic insects, focusing on Midwest Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need. 
  • Linking species’ distributions to regional climate trends and projections, focusing on both precipitation extremes (flooding, drought). 
  • Assessing species’ vulnerability to extreme and changing climate across the Midwest using estimated distributions, trait-based inferences, and NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index.
  • Working collaboratively to understand diverse stakeholder perspectives and identify new opportunities for state and regional early warning systems and freshwater monitoring programs.
  • Meeting regularly with the PIs (Drs. Jason Bried, Trent Ford, Chloe Wardropper) and project collaborators, in person or virtually.   

Required Qualifications 

  • Ph.D. (within the last 10 years or by the start date) in ecology, conservation biology, natural resources, data science, or related discipline
  • Demonstrated quantitative analytical skills, competence with R.
  • Experience with bioclimatic modelling
  • Strong scientific writing skills with evidence of successful publications
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills 
  • Ability to work independently, assemble and analyze data, and coherently translate findings both verbally and in writing to granting agencies and to scientific and public communities.
  • Valid driver's license

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Research interests in freshwater invertebrates and/or biological consequences of climate change
  • Experience with databases and mapping software
  • Interest in environmental social science, human dimensions, and allied fields

Salary and Appointment 

  • Funding for the position is available for 2 years. Starting salary is $60,000, plus benefits. Preferred start date is September 18, 2023. 


Review of applications will start June 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply, please e-mail 1) cover letter that clearly articulates relevant qualifications and experience, 2) a CV, and 3) the names and full contact information of three professional references to Dr. Jason Bried,